UNEP's Work On Principle 10


DRAFT Guide to the UNEP Bali Guidelines on Rio Principle 10 closed for comments

UNEP is calling upon States and Governments, Stakeholders, Academics and Major Groups to comment on the DRAFT Guide to the UNEP Bali Guidelines on Rio Principle 10 (working title: "Putting Rio Principle 10 into Action"). The Rio Principle 10 (PP10) is the global standard for the promotion of environmental democracy and one of the major drivers of the transition towards sustainability. It provides a platform for the participation of all concerned citizens in environmental issues as well as an opportunity to participate in decision making processes. The Bali Guidelines represent the global unique instrument that was adopted by member states in order to implement Rio Principle 10.

The UNEP Governing Council adopted the Bali Guidelines in 2010 as a tool to assist countries in filling gaps in national and sub-national legislation in order to facilitate broad access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. In 2012 UNEP and UNITAR joined hands to promote the Bali Guidelines, including through a project to develop a Guide to the Guidelines implemented by the World Resource Institute (WRI). Drafted with assistance from a global Advisory Group, the Guide seeks to offer assistance to governments towards the implementation of Rio Principle 10 by collecting case examples and jurisprudence from a wide range of national and international practice. The Guide is expected to be published by the end of 2014 and will be translated into official UN languages and widely distributed.

Comments were received which were very useful. They included positive examples from developing and transitional societies regarding legislation and practical implementation in the field of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters.

The DRAFT Guide is downloadable as a word document and available here.

“Implementation of Principle 10 in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development” (UNEP/EA.1/L.13)

At the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held in Nairobi (Kenya) between 23 and 27 June 2014, delegates and representatives from 163 Member States of the United Nations adopted resolution UNEP/EA.1/L.13 on the “Implementation of Principle 10 in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development”.

The resolution, proposed by the Presiding Officers of the process on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean (Chile, Mexico and the Dominican Republic), was one of the 16 resolutions adopted at the first meeting of UNEA.

Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration states: 

“Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.”

In order to catalyse and accelerate action in terms of implementing Principle 10, governments adopted the "Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters" at the 11th Special Session of UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum in Bali, Indonesia. These Guidelines though voluntary, demonstrate a willingness by Governments to more thoroughly engage the public at all levels to protect and manage the environment and related resources.

Implementation of  Principle 10 in the Regions

On 6-7 November 2012, delegates of the signatory countries to the Declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development held a meeting at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile, where they agreed on a road map for its full implementation at the regional level..... Read more.

Third Meeting of the focal points designated by the governments of signatory countries of the Declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. - 31st OCTOBER 2013

The third Meeting of Designated Focal Points by the Governments of the signatory countries of the Declaration on the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Lima, Peru, October 30 and 31, 2013. At the meeting, Guatemala and St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined  the Declaration and adopted the Lima Vision for a regional instrument on access rights in environmental matters. Delegates from 17 countries signatories also agreed priority action lines by 2014 in capacity building and cooperation. Read more

LIMA VISION FOR A REGIONAL INSTRUMENT ON ACCESS RIGHTS RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT

MEETING REPORT