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GEM UW Warsaw 2009 Sustainable Development and access to information about environment and environmental protection Dr Anna Kalinowska Doc. UW Warsaw University.

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Presentation on theme: "GEM UW Warsaw 2009 Sustainable Development and access to information about environment and environmental protection Dr Anna Kalinowska Doc. UW Warsaw University."— Presentation transcript:

1 GEM UW Warsaw 2009 Sustainable Development and access to information about environment and environmental protection Dr Anna Kalinowska Doc. UW Warsaw University The University Centre for Environmental Studies


3 Who is the Author of the concept of Sustainable Development? A global agenda for change- this was what the World Commission on Environment and Development was asked to formulate. It was in an urgent call by the General Assambly of United Nations. The Commission chaired by Mrs Gro Harlem Brundtland has completed its work in WCED call for a common endavour and for new norms of behaviour at all levels and in interest of all in the report: Our Common Future

4 It is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: *The concept of needs, in particular of the worlds poor *The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environments ability to meet present and future needs What is it: Sustainable Development?

5 WHAT IT MEANS IN PRACTICE? People need ways of living of the good life. But these ways of life must be equitable- both within and among societes and between present and future generations and they must safeguard the diversit of ecosystems

6 How the idea of SD was implemented? Rio de Janeiro- Earth Summit of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and its main result; Agenda Johannesburg –Earth Summit of the United Nation on Sustainable Development its main result:Johannesburg Action Plan Policy of the European Union based on the idea of sustainable development

7 The Earth Charter Values and Principles for a Sustainable Future

8 Respect Earth and life in all its diversity Protect and restore the integrity of Earths ecological systems- We must reverse loss of biodiversity

9 Solidarity with nature the problem of nature lies not in nature but in overdevelopment


11 Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion and love Accept that with the right to own, manage and use nature comes the duty to prevent environental harm and to protect rights of people

12 SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION Production which care about environment –nature and natural resources Production which respect human needs and dignity

13 Sustainable consumption Oposite of overconsumption Respecting needs of nature and other nations Careing for Ecological Footprint as it is correlation between EF and consumption

14 Peace and Human Security Too often sustainable development are undermined by insecurity and conflicts SD therefore means to bulild skills and values for peace in minds of humankind.

15 Spiritual dimension of sustainable development The care for spiritual development is not less important as material development For people from differnt religions spiritual dimension is universal


17 Secure Earth bounty and beauty for present and future generations



20 Sustainable development and access to information on the environment Agenda 21 has already higlighted the need for more open and transparent decision - making when it comes to environmental policy The aim of access to info. is to help create a permanent channel of communication and dialogue.

21 What do we mean by environmental information? The state of the environment and its elements: air, water,soil, landscape Biodiversity including GMO Factors such as certain substances, noise.. The plans, programes, legislation etc The state of human health, living conditions The state of cultural sites likely to be affected by the state of the environment

22 Active and passive publicity in relation to the environment Passive publicity: the public is the actor, i.e the public request specific information from a public authority. Authority is requested to provide information at the lates witin one month. Active publicity: the authority spontaneosly makes the information available to the public, in the form of easily accessible paper publication or a webside.

23 Access to information in the European Union In EU public access to information is in line with the directive on freedom of access to information on the environment. The value of this directive lies not only in making available environment related information but also demonstrating the transparency of decision- making processes State of the environment reports at EU level and in the member States are an essential part of the information process.

24 Access to information at Member State level Environmental information is provided in all Member States, through its form and level of accessibility differs. Regional and local authorities are also responsible for making information available Accessibility of information is considered to be as important as availability Dissemination tools range from published documents to CD-ROM and video

25 Access to information and public participation in Poland The law from 3.October 2008 on access to information on environment and its protection, public paricipation and environmental impact assesment Everyone has the right to obtain official information that the public authorithies have on the environment Types of decisions concerning the right to participate : the issuing of authorisation for certain activities and installations, the development of environmental plans or programmes, the development of environmental policies, the preparation of regulations

26 The Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and to Justice in Environmental Matters The Convention was created within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe but the origin date back to 1992 to the Rio Declaration. 25 June 1998 Ministerial Conference Environment for Europe approved the Convention in Aarhus in Denmark

27 Public access to information Access to information such as the right to know is the first pillar of the Convention Its the right for every person to obtain official information that the public authorities have on the environment

28 Public participation in decision -making The second pillar of Aarhus Convention: Public authorities have to inform, allow sufficient time and takes matter in the account.Participating requirements being informed. Public authority must take into account the results of this participation.

29 Access to justice in environmental matters The third pillar of the Convention reinforce the other two by guaranteeing their correct application with the help of court. It grants the public the right to penalise for breaches made by public athorities concernig access to information

30 Build democratic societes that are just, participatory and peaceful Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meanigful life that is ecologicaly responsible


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