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Lack of trustworth information is a barrier to chemicals & product related decision-making

8-9 October, Geneva: short report of the meeting of the Aarhus Conventionís task force on public participation in decision-making

12.10.2018 |

It was the 8th meeting of the Task Force since its establishment in 2010. The first session dealt with ensuring effective public participation and Italy presented new legislation on public debate, France and Sweden presented new methods and tools for access to information and for effective notification. Amongst others, the Aarhus Centre from Ukraine and Romania reported on their experiences and European Eco-Forum members highlighted remaining lacks. Of particular interest was the Environment Assessment Watch project which identified, i.a. the lack of community interest in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), as a common problem. The afternoon session was dedicated to the protection of persons exercising their rights under the AC. The presentation of Earthjustice on the systemic challenges encountered by environmental rights defenders raised awareness of the need for action. Staggering numbers as 4 murders per week in 2017 make the problem virulent.

The next day focused on the issue of chemicals- and product-related decision making. Georgia and Serbia presented their latest efforts in ensuring a sound information system and showed how the public was encouraged to participate. However, challenges remain such as the complexity of the issue of chemicals and their impact on the environment and human health, the lack of relevant framework legislation, insufficient capacities and the absence of trustworthy information. WECF highlighted experiences from its network in the region as well as from its international advocacy work. The need for unified registers, independent research and studies, awareness raising and funding for civil society to be able and capacitated to participate was mentioned. A detailed report of the meeting can soon be found here: 


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