The sixth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information and the joint UNECE - EEA workshop on Open Data for the Environment under auspices of the Task Force was held from 2 to 4 October 2019 in Geneva.
The Task Force promoted the exchange of information, case studies and good practices and discussed recent and upcoming developments focusing on active dissemination of environmental information. In particular, the Task Force discussed effective provision of information in case of an imminent threat to human health and the environment, the use of modern technologies by the public and the update of the Recommendations on electronic information tools on the basis of the prior consultation with the Parties, other interested States and stakeholders (see information document 3 (AC/TF.AI-6/Inf.3) and its Addendum (AC/TF.AI-6/Inf.3/Add.1).
The Task Force took stock of recent and upcoming developments with regard to public access to information related to: emissions; the application of restrictions on access to information; and the protection of whistle-blowers and other persons exercising their rights in conformity with the provisions of the Aarhus Convention.
The outcomes of the meeting will support countries’ efforts in implementing, monitoring and measuring environment-related Sustainable Development Goals, including SDGs 3 (Health), SDG 6 (Water), SDG 9 (Resilient Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Resilient and Sustainable Cities), SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and target 10 SDG 16 (Ensure Public Access to Information), and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030
The background material for the Task Force meeting includes relevant information derived from 2017 national implementation reports and the synthesis report, the Implementation Guide, case studies on electronic information tools, relevant the Aarhus Clearinghouse resources, Compliance Committee findings of a systemic nature and jurisprudence database. The Task Force on Access to Information continues its work based on the outputs of the previous meetings.
UNECE Weekly article about the meetings is available here.
IN FOCUS: The ongoing consultation on the update of the Recommendations on electronic information tools by 23 April 2020. Please see this webpage.