UNECE Holds Workshop on Participation in International Forums

7 March 2011: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has reported on a two-day workshop, which convened from 23-24 February 2011, on public participation in international forums (PPIF), including at the latest session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and in the Rio 2012 process.

According to the UNECE Weekly Newsletter for the period 7-11 February 2011, during the workshop, the UNFCCC Secretariat briefed participants on improvements made to facilitate public participation at the Cancun Climate Conference in December 2010, including on the basis of inputs from the Aarhus Convention PPIF workshop held in June 2010. Discussions focused on increased flexibility in registration and participation rules and practice, and further improvement of collaboration with civil society.

Participants also discussed how parties to the Aarhus Convention could organize their national preparations and share their experiences with governments from other regions in the run-up to Rio 2012, through bilateral cooperation or collaborating with the host country. A high-level segment of the fourth session of the Aarhus Convention's Meeting of the Parties (29 June -1 July 2011) is expected discuss the role of the Convention in promoting sustainable development, where it is expected that participants will agree upon a declaration on lessons learnt and good practices to forward to the Rio 2012 Conference.

The Aarhus Convention focuses on public access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. While its current members are from the UNECE region, the Convention's membership is open also to non-UNECE countries. [Publication: UNECE Weekly Issue 414] [Workshop Website]