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Ireland Submits its First Aarhus Convention National Implementation Report 2014

Friday, 24 January 2014
On 31st December 2013, Republic of Ireland* submitted its first National Implementation Report under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (known as the Aarhus Convention) to the secretariat of the Aarhus Convention.  

Article 10(2) of the Aarhus Convention requires the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to keep under continuous review the implementation of the Convention on the basis of regular reporting by the Parties through National Implementation Reports**.

The Aarhus Convention lays down a set of basic rules to promote citizen’s involvement in environmental matters and improve enforcement of environmental law.  Its provisions are broken down into three Pillars: Access to Information, Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making, and Access to Justice.  

Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government said “The level of public engagement in the development of the report illustrates the growing interest in this area in Ireland.  The consultation process sought to provide the UNECE, the Aarhus Convention secretariat and the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee with the widest possible range of views and opinions on issues related to the implementation and practical arrangements for the promotion of the Aarhus Convention in Ireland”.

The Ministry of the Environment initially prepared a preliminary draft National Implementation Report to outline the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Ireland and invited comments from stakeholders, members of the public and other interested parties.

The first phase of public consultation was launched on June 7th 2013.  Twenty-one submissions were received, examined and, where appropriate, reflected in the second draft of the report.  On 30th September 2013, the Minister launched the second phase in which twelve submissions were received.  The final report adequately reflects most comments received during the consultation process. All submissions received were analyzed and summaries of the issues raised were outlined in decision-making tables.  These set out which comments were included in the final draft and, for those that were not included, the rationale for their omission**.


Notes:
*Republic of Ireland ratified the Aarhus Convention on 20 June 2012.
**Τhe format for the Aarhus Convention National Implementation Report (NIR) is in accordance with Decision IV/4 (ECE/MP.PP/2011/2/Add.1), whereas guidance for NIRs is provided by the Online Reporting Tool on the Online Database of NIRs, see:  http://www.unece.org/env/pp/reports.html
***As required by transparency principle provided in Arts. 4(7), 5(7) of the Aarhus Convention


Source: UNECE
For further information:
http://aarhusclearinghouse.unece.org/news/1000667/?year=0
http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/News/MainBody,34984,en.htm    
http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/AarhusConvention/PublicConsultations/
http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Miscellaneous/FileDownLoad,34986,en.pdf


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