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The Fourth Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention (MOP 4) Adopts the Chisinau Declaration

Tuesday, 19 July 2011
The Fourth Session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 4) to the Aarhus Convention (Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) was held from 29 June to 1 July 2011 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. It brought together around 400 participants from governments, UN agencies, civil society and academia.

The Fourth Session consisted of a General segment and a High-level segment. During the General segment, decisions were adopted in a number of substantive issues related to Genetically Modified Organisms, Access to information, including electronic information tools, Public Participation in decision-making and Access to Justice.

The High-level segment began its consultations discussing about the role of the Aarhus Convention in promoting sustainable development. The result of the discussions was the adoption of the Chisinau Declaration (Rio plus Aarhus – 20 years on: Bearing fruit and looking forward). The Chisinau Declaration includes sections on Aarhus and the Green Economy, Aarhus and Environmental Governance, and Looking Ahead.     

With respect to Aarhus and the Green Economy the participants of MOP 4 “consider that, in line with Principle 10, citizens should be invited to participate in defining and implementing green economy programmes and in choosing the most appropriate road maps to sustainability”. Similarly, in the Aarhus and environmental governance they urge the participants in the Rio+20 Conference “to take into account the Aarhus Convention principles in their consideration of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD), including the options for broader institutional reform identified in UNEP’s Nairobi-Helsinki Outcome, as a contribution to strengthening the IFSD by improving international environmental governance”. Finally, the participants of MOP 4 offer to share their experience in implementing Principle 10 with all the countries that wish to join the Aarhus family and invite them to become Parties of the Convention.  


* Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment & Development (1992):

"Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided."

Source: UNECE, IISD Reporting Services
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