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The seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) and the fourth session of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (Protocol on PRTRs) will take place in Palais des Nations, Geneva from 18 to 22 October 2021 in a hybrid format (combining on-site and remote participation).
The events will provide a platform for Parties, signatories, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to discuss achievements and challenges in promoting environmental democracy, digital transformation and sustainable development. As the international community gears up for a decade of action and delivery for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Aarhus Convention and its Protocol provide essential cross-sectoral tools on which Governments can rely to effectively engage the public and other stakeholders in decision-making, thereby offering solutions that can deliver truly sustainable governance. These treaties require that steps be taken to ensure that all persons, including the most vulnerable groups in society and rural communities, have access to reliable information and are able to participate in decisions that have an effect on their lives without any discrimination or harassment. For example, spatial planning and large-scale infrastructure projects can have a substantial impact on the lives of thousands across countries and regions. Such projects create new opportunities for employment, travel and economic growth. At the same time, they may have an immense impact on ecosystems and human health and well-being.
With the above in mind, the two upcoming sessions will feature a joint high-level segment on 21 October 2021 where delegations will focus on the role of the Aarhus Convention and its Protocol in furthering sustainable infrastructure and spatial planning. The programme and other relevant information about this segment will be made available in due course.
General information on participation, registration, practical information, side-events, media, can be found here.