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Eighth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information under the Aarhus Convention and International Workshop on Access to Product Information

Eighth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information under the Aarhus Convention and International Workshop on Access to Product Information

09 - 10 November 2023
Salle III, Palais des Nations Geneva Switzerland

The eighth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information was held in Geneva on 9 - 10 November 2023.

The Task Force featured an international workshop “Advancing public access to environment-related product information: challenges and opportunities” (see tab below) that was organized in cooperation with the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) , UNEP and ONE Planet Network and European Environment Agency. The workshop considered challenges and opportunities in advancing public access to environment-related product information, including legal and policy developments, the use of product passports and other digital tools, means to encourage operators to inform the public and measures against greenwashing. The workshop provided an opportunity to share experiences of public authorities, civil society, private sector, academia, international organisations and other stakeholders in this area.

Furthermore, the meeting of the Task Force promoted the exchange of case studies, good practices and challenges and consider recent and upcoming developments in relation to strengthening public access to environmental information. In particular, the Task Force discussed (a) the scope of environmental information in accordance with article 2 (3) of the Convention; (b) access to information on emissions into the environment; and (c) the provision of information to the public authorities by third parties both routinely and in case of an imminent threat to human health or the environment. The Task Force took stock of the use of the updated Recommendations on electronic information tools and activities of other relevant international forums.

For further information, please read the following UNECE article "Promoting digital access to information in support of green and circular economy". 

Case studies

Participants may wish to submit new or updated case studies on electronic information tools (see the template and other details from https://unece.org/env/pp/eit-case-studies ) in electronic form to the secretariat (public.participation[at]un.org) prior to the meeting.

Aarhus Clearinghouse national nodes

Representatives of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention are also kindly invited to inform about the establishment or the update of the national nodes for the Aarhus Clearinghouse mechanisms in accordance with decision VII/1: https://aarhusclearinghouse.unece.org/national-nodes

Task Force documents

Provisional Agenda (AC/8TF.AI-8/Inf.1) PDF

Provisional programme (AC/TF.AI-8/Inf.1/Add.1) PDF

List of Participants PDF

Key outcomes of the 8th meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information (AC/TF.AI-8/Inf.3) PDF

Decision VII/1 on promoting effective access to information (ECE/MP.PP/2021/2/Add.1) PDF

Updated recommendations on the more effective use of electronic information tools (ECE/MP.PP/2021/2/Add.2) 

Case studies on electronic information tools

Aarhus Clearinghouse and its national nodes


 

 

 

Task Force Statements and Presentations

Item III: Public access to environmental information:

(a) The scope of environmental information

Presenters

Mr. Roberts PRINDULIS, National focal point, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Latvia PDF
Mr. Mario DE OLIVEIRA, National focal point, Office of the Secretary of State of Environment and Biodiversity, Guinea-Bissau PDF
Ms. Tanja EHNERT, Inquiries Coordinator, European Ombudsman PDF
Ms. Alison HOUGH, European ECO Forum PDF PDF

 

(b) Access to information on emissions into the environment

Presenters

Ms. Andrina CRNJAK THAVENET, Head, Department of Waters, Chemicals, Industrial and Integrated Pollution and other Sectorial Pressures, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Croatia PDF
Mr. Philippe RAUCQ, SPW Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Public Service of Wallonia, Belgium PDF
Ms. Anna CAZACU, Legal Adviser, ECO Contact and European ECO Forum PDF

 

(c) The provision of information to the public authorities by third parties

Presenters

Ms. Piera LALOUX, Information Disclosure Analyst, European Investment Bank PDF
Mr. Matthieu HUG, CEO, TILKAL PDF
Mr. Nikola KRSTIC, Director, Pokret Tvrđava (Fortress Movement) and the European ECO Forum PDF
Ms. Danica LASSALINE, Science Officer, and Ms. Sirveena JANVIER, Policy Analyst, Environment and Climate Change, Canada ENG FRE

Statements

Ms. Suada NUMIC, Bosnia and Herzegovina PDF

 

Item IV: Stocktaking of recent and upcoming developments

Presenters

Ms. Edlira DERSHA, Specialist, Ministry of Tourism and Environment PDF
Ms. Zuldyz MURZABEKOVA, Head, Unit of Ecological Information and Analysis, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources PDF
Ms. Silva AYVAZYAN, Coordinator, Yerevan Aarhus Centre PDF
Mr. Frederik HAFEN, European Environment Bureau and European Ecoforum PDF

 

Item V: Activities under other international forums

Presenters

Mr. Jaco DU TOIT, Chief of Section Universal Action to Information and Digital Inclusion, UNESCO PDF
Mr. José PARRA, OHCHR (General Comment) PDF

 

 

 

International Workshop “Advancing public access to environment-related product information: challenges and opportunities”

 

Provisional Programme

Provisional programme PDF

 

Background material

Aarhus Convention Implementation Guide

Access to Environment-related Product information: Implementation Outlook (AC/TF.AI-8/Inf.2)

Updated recommendations on the more effective use of electronic information tools (ECE/MP.PP/2021/2/Add.2) 

Regulatory Frameworks to Combat Greenwashing published by the Consumer Information Programme of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production(10YFP), with International Climate Initiative(IKI) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection(BMUV)

Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information

Communicating Product Sustainability Information related to Chemicals

Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information in E-commerce

 

Statements and Presentations

 

Item II: Legal and policy developments in access to environment-related product information

Ms. Paola MIGLIORINI, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission PDF

Ms. Malgorzata STYLO, Associate Programme Officer, Chemicals and Health Branch, UNEP PDF

Ms. Regina TAIMASOVA-BUMBACA, Advisor, Division of Inclusive and Sustainable Trade, International Trade Center PDF

Ms. Margarida MARTINS, Associate Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau and European ECO Forum PDF

 

Item III: Product passports and other digital tools to enhance transperancy, traceability and monitoring

Mr. Ioannis BAKAS, Circular Economy Monitoring expert, European Environment Agency PDF

Ms. Azemine SHAKIRI, Head of Unit, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, North Macedonia PDF

Ms. Yevheniia POPOVYCH, Director, Department of Digital Transformation and Electronic Public Services, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Ukraine PDF

Mr. Frederik HAFEN, Senior Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau and European ECO Forum PDF

 

Item IV: Means to encourage operators to inform the public

Ms. Maria-Teresa PISANI, Economic Affairs Officer, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, UNECE PDF

Mr. Rade OSTOJIC, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Serbia PDF

Ms. Tamar ALADASHVILI, Environmental Information and Education Center (Aarhus Centre), Georgia PDF

Ms. Tamara MALKOVA, IGO “Green Dossier” and European ECO Forum PDF

Ms. Kasiet MUSABAEVA, PA “Water partnership of Kyrgyzstan” and European ECO Forum PDF

 

Item V:  Green claims and measures against Greenwashing

Ms. Laetitia MONTERO, Programme Officer, Consumption and Production Unit, Resources and Market Branch, UNEP PDF

Ms. Ana CIPRIANO, Legal Officer, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch, UNCTAD PDF

Ms. Olivia CHASSOT, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, UNECE PDF

Ms. Jasmin GERBER, Scientific Collaborator, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland PDF

Ms. Fatima Khoei, Senior Policy Advisor, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom PDF

Ms. Margarida MARTINS, Associate Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau and European ECO Forum PDF