Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government today launched (07 June 2013) the public consultation for Ireland’s first National Implementation Report under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (known as the Aarhus Convention).
The Aarhus Convention lays down a set of basic rules to promote citizen’s involvement in environmental matters and improve enforcement of environmental law. Its provisions are broken down into three Pillars: Access to Information, Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making, and Access to Justice. Ireland ratified the Aarhus Convention on 20 June 2012.
In keeping with the spirit of the Aarhus Convention of ensuring meaningful public participation in environmental decision-making, Minister Hogan recognises the role the public, including environmental NGOs, can play in environmental protection and, in particular, the role that effective public participation can play in improving the quality of decision-making related to the environment. Prior to finalising Ireland’s first National Implementation Report, Minister Hogan encourages members of the public and other parties with an interest in the protection of Ireland’s environment to submit comments on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention into Irish law.
The purpose of this consultation is to provide the UNECE, the Aarhus Convention Secretariat and the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee with the widest possible range of views and opinions on issues related to the implementation and practical arrangements for the promotion of the Aarhus Convention in Ireland.
The draft report on which comments are sought and a copy of the UNECE Aarhus Convention text are available below:
Preliminary Draft of Ireland’s National Implementation Report 2014 –www.environ.ie/en/Environment/AarhusConvention/PublicConsultations/
Text of the Aarhus Convention –www.unece.org/env/pp/treatytext.htm
Comments on the first phase of this public consultation should be submitted by email or received by post no later than 5pm on Friday 9 August 2013 to the addresses below:
Post: Environment Policy Section
Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
For more information, please go towww.environ.ie/en/Environment/AarhusConvention/PublicConsultations/.