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Promoting transparency in decision-making

Environmental protection in cities a collective responsibility. UNECE’s Aarhus Convention promotes effective and inclusive public participation in environmental matters, helping authorities to involve inhabitants, NGOs and others in decision-making relating to their environment.  The Convention is applied in projects of a number of multilateral financial institutions to ensure the public’s effective engagement in environmental decision-making at local level.

The UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) promotes transparency and informed decision-making process by providing inhabitants with online access to information on air, water and soil pollution in their neighbourhoods. City-level examples include:

  • PRTR air emission data helped to identify and find solutions to health risks at the planning stage of an industrial zone of Haifa (Israel).
  • In Gothenburg (Sweden), data on air quality is made available for easy use by pupils on the way to school via a smartphone app. This data also provides a better basis for policy development by decision makers and citizens, contributing to improved health.