Delegates, guests and UNEP staff attended the special event Access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters – UNEP guidelines for enhancing implementation of Rio Principle 10 on Thursday 19 February 2009. The event was co-chaired by Jan Dusík, First Deputy Minister for the Environment, Czech Republic, and by Andjelka Mihajlov former Minster of the Environment and now member of the Serbian delegation. It was organized against the backdrop of the draft UNEP Guidelines on this topic that is before the GC for consideration.
The speakers underscored the importance of the draft guidelines in supporting interested countries in developing their national legislation on these issues and expressed their satisfaction over the foreseen Governing Council decision to set a process in place to further develop the guidelines with a view to their adoption at the next Governing Council. The co-chairs summarized the event by saying that to achieve effective public participation a good legal framework is required, it has to be effectively implemented and the capacity of various actors (i.e. government officials and civil society) has to be built.
Justice Donald Kaniaru, Kenya
Bakary Kante, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP
Jeremy Wates, Aarhus Convention, UNECE
Achim Halpaap, UNITAR
Elenita Daño, Third World Network, Philippines
Augustine Njamnshi, Coordinator of The Access Initiative, Cameroon.