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Twenty-fourth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention, hybrid sessions

28 - 29 October 2020
Switzerland

1 - 3 July 2020 (virtual) and 28-29 October 2020 (hybrid), Geneva, Palais des Nations
Due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic it was not feasible to hold the twenty-fourth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention in Geneva on 1-3 July 2020 as was planned originally. The meeting was held instead in two slots:

• Items of informational nature were considered in a virtual format on 1-3 July 2020 with no decision-making and
• Items requiring decision-making were considered at hybrid sessions on 28-29 October 2020 in Geneva at the Palais des Nations

For more information please read a news article about the meeting: Upholding Aarhus Rights in a Changing World

The meeting resulted in a number of outcomes, including with regard to preparations of the documents for the seventh session of the Convention’s Meeting of the Parties. Pursuant to these outcomes, several draft documents were prepared by the Bureau for consultations. For information on consultations see this web page.

Virtual sessions on 1-3 July
During the virtual sessions the Working Group of the Parties considered items that would require only provision of information by the Chairs of subsidiary bodies and of the session on prompting the Convention’s principles in international forums, the secretariat or other organizations. No decisions were taken during the virtual sessions except of adoption of the meeting’s organisation of work and of the agenda for virtual sessions. The sessions resulted in draft outcomes that were considered at hybrid sessions in October. However:

• Parties and stakeholders were requested to submit written comments on documents that are subject to decision-making for the sessions in July as to progress with preparations and discussions at in-person meeting in October. In order to facilitate preparations, they were requested to submit the comments and the related statements as soon as possible before 24 June 2020.
• Parties and stakeholders could also submit written statements on items that are not subject to decision-making as to inform participants of any relevant developments.

Hybrid sessions on 28-29 October 
Hybrid sessions focused on:

• Two thematic sessions on access to justice and on prompting the Convention’s principles in international forums and
• Items that are subject to decision-making, including the future work on access to information, public participation in decision-making, access to justice, promotion of the Convention and its principles etc, based on the Chairs’ notes and outcomes of the sessions held in July (these issues were considered during the item on future work programme).

Documents, statements and presentations for the meeting can be found below; they are being uploaded on this webpage as soon as they become available.

Documents

Title ENG FRE RUS
New organisation of work (AC/WGP-24/Inf.13/Rev.1) PDF PDF PDF
Organisation of Work (AC/WGP-24/Inf.13) PDF PDF PDF
Provisional Agenda (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/1)  PDF PDF PDF
Report (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/2), advance edited copy PDF    
List of decisions and major outcomes of the sessions held on 28-29 October 2020 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.21) PDF    
List of outcomes of the sessions held on 1-3 July 2020 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.15) PDF    
List of participants

PDF (July session)

PDF (October session)

   
Item 3 (a)      
Note by the Chair of the Task Force on Access to Justice (AC/WGP-24/Inf.3) PDF    
Item 3 (b)      
Report of the Task Force on Access to Information on its sixth meeting (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/3)  PDF PDF PDF
Note by the Chair of the Task Force on Access to Information (AC/WGP-24/Inf.1) PDF    
Draft updated Recommendations on the electronic information tools (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/14)

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

Addendum with supporting explanatory notes (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/14/Add.1) 

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

Accompanying document for the draft updated recommendations on the electronic information tools (AC/WGP-24/Inf.12) PDF    
Item 3 (c)      
Note by the Chair of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making (AC/WGP-24/Inf.2) PDF    
Item 3 (d)      
Report on the third Joint Round Table on Public Awareness, Access to Information and Public Participation regarding Living Modified Organisms/Genetically Modified Organisms (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/6) PDF PDF PDF
Item 4 (a)      
Membership of the Compliance Committee (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/9) PDF PDF PDF
Item 6      
Report on the implementation of the work programme for 2018–2021 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/4)  PDF PDF PDF
Report on contributions and expenditures in relation to the implementation of the Convention’s work programme for 2018-2021 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/5)  PDF PDF PDF
Note on contributions and pledges received after 1 April 2020 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.14) PDF    
Note on contributions and pledges received between 1 April -7 October 2020 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.18) PDF    
Item 7      
Indicative preparatory timeline for MoP7 and MoPP4 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.19) PDF    
Item 7 (a)      
Draft elements of the work programme for 2022–2025 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/7)  PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Accompanying document for Draft elements of the work programme for 2022–2025 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.11)  PDF    
Draft note on a rapid response mechanism to deal with cases related to article 3 (8) of the Aarhus Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/13)  PDF PDF PDF
Overview of existing mechanisms under other treaties and organisations that cover or may potentially cover rights of environmental defenders (AC/WGP-24/Inf.7) PDF    
Explanatory note regarding comments by EU and its Member States (AC/WGP-24/Inf.15) PDF    
Explanatory note regarding comments by EU and its Member States (AC/WGP-24/Inf.22) PDF    
Information note on the situation regarding environmental defenders in Parties to the Aarhus Convention from 2017 to date (AC/WGP-24/Inf.16)
PDF    
Information note collating excerpts of the Parties’ 2017 National Implementation Reports regarding article 3(8) of the Convention (AC/WGP-24/Inf.17) PDF    
Item 7 (b)      
Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/11)  PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Self-assessment of Parties regarding implementation of the Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.8) PDF    
Accompanying document for Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.9) PDF    
Item 7 (c)      
Expression of intention by Guinea-Bissau to accede to the Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/12)  PDF PDF PDF
Item 7 (d)      
Draft elements of possible financial arrangements under the Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/8)  PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Accompanying document for draft elements of possible financial arrangements (AC/WGP-24/Inf.10) PDF    
Item 7 (e)      
Draft elements of the provisional agenda of the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/10)  PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Note on the indicative preparatory timeline for the fourth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol and seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention (AC/WGP-24/Inf.19) PDF    
Item 8      
Note by the Chair of the thematic session on public participation in international forums (AC/WGP-24/Inf.4) PDF    

 

Statements and Presentations

Title ENG FRE RUS
Statements and comments by EU and its Member States      
Agenda items: 1, 3 (a,b,c,d), 4 (a,b,c), 5, 6, 7 (c,e,f) (1-3 July) PDF    
Agenda item 7 (a): Future work programme - RRM (1-3 July), see response to comments PDF    
Agenda item 7 (b): Future strategic plan (1-3 July) PDF    

Agenda item 7 (b): Future strategic plan (28-29 October, submitted after the meeting)

PDF    
Agenda item 7 (d): Future financial arrangements (1-3 July) PDF    
Agenda item 1: Adoption of the Agenda (28-29 October) PDF    
Agenda item 7 (a): Future work programme - RRM  (28-29 October) PDF    
 Agenda item 7 (a): Future work programme - RRM  (submitted after the meeting), see response to comments PDF    

 

 

     
Statements and comments by Switzerland PDF    
Item 3 (a): Access to Justice      
Report by the Chair  PDF    
Norway (1-3 July) PDF    
Client Earth PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF    
Item 3 (b): Access to Information      
Report by the Chair PDF    
Norway (1-3 July) PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF
PDF
   
Item 3 (c): Public Participation in decision-making      
Norway (1-3 July) PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF
PDF
   
The Consultation Institute PDF    
Journalists for Human Rights PDF    
Item 3 (d): Genetically modified organisms      
European ECO forum PDF    
Item 4 (a): Compliance mechanism      
Norway - RRM (1-3 July) PDF    
Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF    
Item 4 (b): Reporting mechanism      
2021 Reporting Cycle - Practical Considerations PDF
PPT
   
Item 4 (c): Capacity building and awareness-raising      
OSCE PDF    
Item 5: Promotion of the Convention and relevant developments and interlinkages      
OHCHR PDF    
UNEP PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF
PDF
   
Item 6: Implementation of the work programme for 2018–2021, including financial matters      
Norway (1-3 July) PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF    
Item 7 (a): Future work programme      
Georgia - RRM  (submitted after the meeting) PDF    
Norway - RRM (28-29 October) PDF    
Norway - WP (28-29 October) PDF    
Norway - RRM (submitted after the meeting) PDF    
Serbia PDF    
European ECO Forum - RRM PDF   PDF
European ECO Forum PDF    
Association Justice and Environment (J&E), the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and ClientEarth - RRM (submitted after the meeting) PDF    
Guta Environmental Law Association - RRM (submitted after the meeting)                           PDF    
Item 7 (b) Strategic Plan 2022-2030      
Norway (28-29 October) PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF    
Item 7 (c): Accession by States from outside the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe region      
Guinea-Bissau PDF    
Item 7 (d):Future financial arrangements      
Norway (1-3 July) PDF    
Norway (28-29 October) PDF    
Irish Environmental Network PDF    
European ECO Forum PDF    
Item 7 (e) Agenda of MOP 7      
Norway (28-29 October) PDF    
Item 7 (f)      
Hosting of the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties PDF    
Item 8: Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums (for statements see tab "PPIF session")

PPIF session

Title ENG FRE RUS
Item 8: Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums      
Provisional Programme of the thematic session on the promotion of the Aarhus Convention's principles in international forums (AC/WGP-24/Inf.6.rev.1) PDF    
Results of the survey for Parties and stakeholders in preparation for the thematic session on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums (AC/WGP-24/Inf.20) PDF    
I. Promotion of the Convention’s principles in the international trade negotiations      
Ms. Nino Gokhelashvili, Head, Sustainable Development Division, Environment and Climate Change Department, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia PDF    
Ms. Olga Ponizova, European ECO Forum; Chair, Eco-Accord PDF    
Ms. Tamara Malkova, Information Center "Green Dossier" on behalf of European ECO Forum PDF    
Ms. Attracta Ui Bhroin, Environmental Law Officer, Irish Environmental Network, IEN on behalf of European ECO Forum PDF    
II. Promotion of the Convention’s principles in the International Civil Aviation Organization processes      
Ms. Marie-Pierre Meganck, Conseillère Environnement-Transport, Mission Permanente de la France auprès des Nations-Unies à Genève et des autres organisations internationales en Suisse PDF    
Mr. Gilles Dufrasne, ICSA Coalition; Policy Officer, Carbon Market Watch PDF    
III. Update on items considered at previous thematic sessions and consideration of recent developments      
Ms. Linda Schneider, Senior Programme Officer International Climate Policy, Heinrich-Böll on behalf of Heinrich-Böll Foundation, CIEL and ETC Group PDF    
Ms. Luzie Schrameyer, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) on behalf of European ECO Forum PDF    
Ms. Anke Stock, Senior Gender Expert & Lawyer; Board Member, Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) on behalf of European ECO Forum PDF    
Written statement by UNECE on Stakeholder engagement in global and regional follow-up and review of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals PDF    
Written statement EBRD stakeholder engagement PDF    
Written statement Update on EIB Stakeholder Engagement Policy and Access to Information Policy PDF    
Written Statement of UNEP for the Thematic Session on Promoting the Principles of the Aarhus Convention in International Fora PDF    
Written statement by UNFCCC secretariat regarding observer engagement PDF    
Written statement AIIB PDF    
Written statement, the World Bank Access to Information and Stakeholder Engagement PDF    
Statements      
European ECO Forum PDF    
European ECO Forum/Irish Environmental Network PDF    
European ECO Forum/CIEL PDF    
European ECO Forum/EEB PDF    
European ECO Forum supplementary oral statement PDF    
Submitted by ICSA to 23d meeting of the Working Group of the Parties
Letter from the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) to the Chair of the thematic session on public participation in international forums PDF    
Note by the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) on public participation and access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) PDF    
Statement by International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) on public participation and access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) PDF  

AJ session

Title ENG FRE RUS
Provisional programme (AC/WGP-24/Inf.5/Rev.1) PDF    
II. Setting the scene: key achievements, challenges and trends in relation to access to justice      
Lord Robert Carnwath, former Justice of UK Supreme Court, representing the European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment PDF    
Ms. Harriet Owens, Environmental Lawyer, ClientEarth and the European ECO Forum PDF    
Ms. Marianna Bolshakova, Regional Coordinator, Environmental Law and Governance, UNEP PPT    
Justice Serhii Burlakov, Judge, Civil Cassation Chamber, Supreme Court of Ukraine PPT    
III. The role of public interest litigation in environmental matters      
Mr. John E. Bonine, Professor, School of Law, University of Oregon PPT    
Mr. Csaba Kiss, Coordinator, Justice and Environment PPT    
Ms. Marta Osleja, Legal Division, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Latvia PPT    
Ms. Tina Janjatovic, Senior Legal Adviser, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Serbia PDF    
Ms. Lena Hehemann, Legal Affairs Division, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland PPT    
Ms. Attracta Ui Bhrion, European ECO Forum/Irish Environmental Network PDF    
Mr. Sebastian Bechtel, European ECO Forum/ClientEarth PDF