At its seventy-seventh meeting (Geneva, 13–16 December 2022), the Compliance Committee of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) invited fourteen Parties to attend open sessions to discuss the plans of action they were requested by the Meeting of the Parties to submit by 1 July 2022. The plans of action are aimed at improving Parties’ legislation and practice in such areas as oil and gas extraction, nuclear power plants, renewable energy, urban and spatial planning, litter, access to justice, and the safety of environmental defenders.
The plans of action are a new practical planning tool developed by the Committee to assist Parties to implement recommendations concerning their non-compliance in a timely and effective manner. Each plan of action should include a time schedule for the implementation of the required measures.
Ms Áine Ryall, the Chair of the Compliance Committee, explained that the purpose of the open sessions was to work collaboratively with each Party to assist it to fully implement the recommendations by the deadline set by the Meeting of the Parties of 1 October 2024. The open sessions were very interactive and demonstrated a high level of engagement by the Parties concerned, communicants and observers.
Ms. Ryall noted that the invitation to attend the open session was a sign of the Committee’s deep commitment to supporting each Party concerned, in its particular context and circumstances, to be in the best possible position to fully implement the recommendations. Ms. Ryall expressed the Committee’s appreciation at the diligent work that went into the preparation of each plan of action and the high level of engagement shown by the Parties during the open sessions.