Twentieth Working Group Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention
Geneva, 15 to 17 June 2016
Last week the States parties to the Aarhus Convention met in Geneva to discuss progress made under the 3 pillars of the Convention (dealt with under respective Task Forces) and forthcoming issues, such as the future work programme (2018-2021) and the 6th Meeting of the Parties to be held in September 2017 in Montenegro.
On Thursday morning, June16th, a thematic session on Public Participation in International Forums was held which focused on the promotion of the Aarhus principles in UNFCCC processes and in international financial institutes. Representatives of civil society highlighted flaws in participation during COP 21 and presented malpractices of MFI financed projects regarding public participation.
During the discussion of the future work programme the overarching tendency of the EU parties to slow down the pace of developing the Convention showed in a call to expand the inter-sessional period from 3 to 4 years, to decrease the yearly meetings of Task Forces as well as to not commit more financial means to the process. These issues of concern along with the efficient and important work of the Compliance Committee need to be further discussed in the run up to the upcoming Meeting of the Parties and the preceding 22nd Working Group Meeting in February/March 2017.