UNECE Aarhus Clearinghouse
The latest news from the Aarhus Convention Clearinghouse
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Planned releases of genetically modified (GM) fruit flies should be halted until food contamination issues are addressed. GeneWatch UK today called for a moratorium on proposed releases of genetically modified (GM) fruit flies and other agricultural pests into the environment, until the issue of GM insects in fruit and vegetable supplies has been properly addressed.
Trade body unfazed by tribunal declaring UK's renewable energy plans may be in breach of Aarhus Convention. The wind industry and government have played down reports a UN legal tribunal ruling will put future projects in jeopardy.
Supreme Court grants appeal against exclusion of the public from the process for completion of the Mochovce law
The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic raised in its judgment of 27 June 2013 the decision No 79/2009 of the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority UJD on, under which the Board of Greenpeace Slovakia against the exclusion of the approval process for completion of the obsolete blocks 3 and 4 was rejected in the Slovak Mochovce. "The decree No 79/2009 of 28 April 2009 is repealed and the matter returned to the defendant for further action, "it says in the judgment. The Court agrees with the applicant's argument, according to which to apply the Aarhus Convention on project changes in nuclear projects and had to ensure a timely and effective public participation. The judgment is also spoken of the need to conduct a proper EIA process.
Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the “necessary information” over their benefits or adverse effects.
Mochovce warned Greenpeace that the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority UJD will overrule the judgment regarding the expansion of the nuclear power plant. The court ordered that the approval process should be restarted and also requires a new environmental impact assessment. After the first reading of the text, it is clear that the Supreme Court revokes the previous view of the courts in Slovakia, after which the building modifications have no impact on the environment and therefore no EIA was required. Moreover, the Supreme Court clarified that the Aarhus Convention held in the extensive rights for the environment and population.
Barrister Rose Grogan reviews a recent controversial case about the demolition of a listed building which pitted campaign groups against a council and a university.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (UJD) lost a lawsuit with Greenpeace Slovakia regarding the completion of the third and fourth units of the Nuclear Power Plant Mochovce (EMO), cancelling the four year old desicion which rejected Greenpeace participation in the decision to construct two nuclear power units.
In Bolovia, despite the objections to Articles 42 and 43 of the draft Law on Transparency and Access to Information, there are specified exceptions where information may be denied, "the general rule is that all information is public " says the Minister of Transparency and Anti-Corruption Nardi Suxo. Citizens are not required to justify their requests, as "[p]romoting transparency in public administration [...] and ensuring all people access to public information..."is the central rule. What finally means ensuring the effectiveness of the constitutional right of access to information, says the authority. The article discusses the parameters of these laws in Latin America.
The PRTR Protocol and the use of GMOs were discussed at the 16th Meeting of the Parties of the Aarhus Convention this past June. Researcher at the Institute of Chemical Problems of ANAS and head of the NGO "EKOSKOP" Chimnaz Shabanov duscusses the impacts, resolutions, and materials of the meeting more in depth.
High Court hears argument on whether the Aarhus Convention applies to private nuisance proceedings and whether Protective Costs Orders could be made.
The UK High Court recently heard an argument over whether the Aarhus Convention applies to private nuisance proceedings and whether a Protective Costs Order could be made in private law proceedings. Within the case, a resident proposed to bring private nuisance proceedings against a private company building near her home. The judge reserved judgment, which is expected to be handed down at the end of August.
The Armenian government has violated the Aarhus Convention. This is stated in the conclusion of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). According to the conclusion of the committee, the government had violated the convention by not taking the claim of NGO "Ecodar" -challenging the administrative decision of the Teghut deposit- into consideration. The Committee suggested that the Government of Armenia make changes to the Law "On Public Associations" and the Code of Administrative Procedure in regard to the right to challenge the decisions of administrative bodies in the court of law, and to hold courses with judicial workers so that the latter treated domestic legal acts in tune with the Aarhus Convention.
The debate on the draft country ski area (GLA) "Kokzhaylyau" that unfolded in 2012, has gained an international reputation after the defenders of the natural area around Almaty appealed to the Aarhus Committee. In the letter, Almaty residents speak about human right of citizens to participate in decision-making on the project "Kokzhaylyau." They refer to the 7th article of the Convention, which provides for public participation in the decision concerning plans, programs and policies relating to the environment. The appeal was sent May 31, 2013. At the 41st meeting of the Committee (25-28 June), the application was accepted for review. The Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention has sent the relevant documents on July 26 to the applicants, the Ministry of Environment, Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations and other international organizations. "VIOLATIONS AT ALL STAGES OF THE PROJECT" said Sergei Solyanik. He said that the Aarhus Convention was violated at the stage of site selection for the GLA "Kokzhaylyau" when the decision was made without issuing for public comment.
High school students from Aghtsk, Margahovit, and Gyumri, Armenia, participated in a poster presentation on June 10 at ATP's Michael and Virginia Center for Environmental Studies. The event was part of a collaborative program between ATP and Armenia's National Institute of Education (NIE) on the integration of environmental education in the social sciences curriculum. Topics discussed included the quality of irrigation water in Aghtsk, the condition of the public park in Margahovit, and the cleanup of the grounds of Isahakyan Park in Gyumri. The conference was based on articles in the Armenian constitution which adress the right to live in a healthy environment, and the Aarhus Convention on public participation, access to justice, and access to information.
20 young people from different countries (Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Taiwan, Slovakia, Turkey, Russia, Belgium, Greece and Spain) 'From Red Alliance' conducted a performance in several locations on the mountains north of Madrid and Alicante coast in order to raise awareness about certain environmental issues. The show revolves around the donkey as an allegory of the old rural world. This is the fourth edition of a project that began in 2010. From 1 - 20 August these young people will conduct a half-hour show in which the donkey represents the relationship that existed between man and nature and backdrop which focuses on public participation in environmental matters with the 'Aarhus Convention' of the United Nations.
BirdLife Malta has accused the government of refusing to publish informattion on hunting. The government expresses it's concern regarding these accusations and has promised to provide the figures once they are compiled. However, such information remains undisclosed despite the government having already compiled and submitted such information in the format of a report to the Ornis Commission in June.
It has been exactly one year since a fatal attack silenced the prominent environmentalist Volodymyr Honcharenko just four days after he had warned that 180 tons of scrap metal – three massive heat exchangers – contaminated with one of the world’s most toxic chemicals, hexachlorbenzol, were being transported without any proper safety measures around the city of Kryvy Rih which could result in potentially devastating consequences for his native Dnipropetrovsk and beyond. During subsequent months all the standard denials and/or assurances were heard. At a meeting of the working group monitoring compliance with the Aarhus Convention in Geneva, the Environment Ministry’s spokesperson asserted that a committee had been set up and that the results of tests were expected in September.
Instead of renewing power station units 8, 9 and 10 of the PGE Turow Power Plant AG a new 460-MW unit is to be built. In, Reichenau, the public living with 10 kilometers was informed and a public hearing will be conducted with the secretary of the municipality of Reichenau. However, according to Polish authorities, no fixed part of the cross-border environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Espoo Convention has been completed, but "only serves to fulfill the requirements of article 3, paragraph 7 of the Aarhus Convention.”
ES: CORE cree que sacar a exposición pública el nuevo Plenercan “no basta” y “no subsana” el “problema” de participación
In a press conference held by CORE and BirdLife, Javier Ceruti claimed that the opening of a new public exhibition period of 45 days for the Future Energy Plan 2011-2020 was "not enough." Ceruti stressed that the opening of the public exhibition period of the Plenercan after making some changes that affect public information occurred in early July. Ark and the Platform for the Defence of Southern Cantabria preached the presentation of a complaint to the European Parliament by the "default" of the Executive of the Aarhus Convention in processing the Plenercan and wind law by failing to report, or to involve stakeholders and those affected. View full article at: www.cronicadecantabria.com/cr/core-cree-que-sacar-a-exposicin-pblica-el-nuevo-plenercan-no-basta-y-no-subsana-el-problema-de-participacin
On Tuesday, Live and Jalon COAGRET will present two petitions against the CHE aimed at "proving" the Confederacy "violates the rules" in Mularroya reservoir. The organization has requested to extend the deadline for 30 days to present the arguments in addition and have opted for a digital copy of the documentation. They have also pointed out that Spain is a signatory to the Aarhus Convention on access to information and public participation, and the CHE as a public body is obliged to give effect to these rights.
A national forum of environmental organizations scheduled to take place in Polatsk, Vitsyebsk region, between June 28 and June 30 has been cancelled due to sewage leaks in the hotel. City administration explained that the Polatsk District Executive Committee had not authorized a rental agreement with the organizers of the forum, and the forum would be useless for people. Though this has caused tensions in Belarus, the forum will be rescheduled for a later date. BelaPAN