Presentation on theme: "Making Aarhus work in international forums A workshop on promoting the application of the principles of the Aarhus Convention in international forums Geneva,"— Presentation transcript:
Making Aarhus work in international forums A workshop on promoting the application of the principles of the Aarhus Convention in international forums Geneva, 23-24 February 2011 Lukasz Wyrowski
UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (IA) - IA Convention; - requirements concerning information to and public participation; - experience with implementation of the requirements; - goal for future work;
What is IA Convention Multilateral environmental agreement for promoting cooperation between UNECE members on ensuring safety at industrial hazardous facilities
Main areas of work PreparednessResponse Prevention
Identify hazardous activities Assess the risks of hazardous activities Share experience on preventive measures Develop guidelines/good practices on safety measures to prevent industrial accidents Inspect hazardous activities
Preparedness Emergency planning inside and outside hazardous activities
Response Coordination of response within a country and between countries: Efficient notification (UNECE Industrial Accident Notification System – at national level) Joint work of response forces Joint work on modelling
Stakeholders Preparedness Response Prevention National authorities Ministry of Environment Ministry of Interior/Emergency Situations Ministry of Industry/Labour etc Regional & local authorities Industry Public
Cooperation Competent authority Public Operator of hazardous activities First layer of cooperation
IA Convention's provisions on public participation Article 9. Information to, and Participation of the Public 1.The Parties shall ensure that adequate information is given to the public in the areas capable of being affected by an industrial accident arising out of a hazardous activity. This information shall be transmitted through such channels as the Parties deem appropriate, shall include the elements contained in Annex VIII hereto and should take into account matters set out in Annex V, paragraph 2, subparagraphs (1) to (4) and (9).
IA Convention's provisions on public participation Article 9. Information to, and Participation of the Public 2.The Party of origin shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and whenever possible and appropriate, give the public in the areas capable of being affected an opportunity to participate in relevant procedures with the aim of making known its views and concerns on prevention and preparedness measures, and shall ensure that the opportunity given to the public of the affected Party is equivalent to that given to the public of the Party of origin.
IA Convention's provisions on public participation Article 9. Information to, and Participation of the Public 3.The Parties shall, in accordance with their legal systems and, if desired, on a reciprocal basis provide natural or legal persons who are being or are capable of being adversely affected by the transboundary effects of an industrial accident in the territory of a Party, with access to, and treatment in the relevant administrative and judicial proceedings, including the possibilities of starting a legal action and appealing a decision affecting their rights, equivalent to those available to persons within their own jurisdiction.
Experience with implementation Review of implementation of Article 9 (reporting round 2008-09) What opportunities does the public have to participate in establishing or implementing –preventive measures –preparedness measures How do you inform the public of these opportunities? Does the public participate? Please explain Are the public in neighbouring countries (who may be affected by hazardous activities) able to participate in the same way as people in your own country? Do natural or legal persons capable of being affected by an industrial accident in the territory of another Party have access to the relevant administrative and judicial procedures in your country? How successful has your country been in developing public participation? Please indicate any weaknesses in your country’s system for public participation and describe whether your country has started to take any steps in last two years to address these weaknesses and if not whether is planning to do so in the near future.
Experience with implementation Conclusions of the review For the majority of Parties: -legislation is in place to ensure that public (own as well as from neighbouring countries) is given the opportunity to participate in establishing or implementing preventive and preparedness measures (reference to procedures on: land use planning; permitting new industrial activities; review of safety reports; approval of external emergency plans; and environmental impact assessment) -communication channels are established (local media, in particular newspapers, web pages of regional authorities) -Despite opportunities available, public participation is rather limited Success assessment: A number of Parties sees a need for reinforcing public participation in the area of the IA Convention’s work, comprising a need for guidelines and information systems for including public in the safety culture
Goal for future work To reach a higher degree of public participation in the processes of establishing and implementing preventive and preparedness measures Starting point: international workshop seeing participation of authorities, NGOs, etc, to: -exchange good practice and experience for public involvement in IA Convention’s work, -identify possible reasons for limited participation and formulate appropriate recommendations
Is public interest limited for the area of industrial safety in the periods when no accidents occur? If so, is it because the public trusts that industrial facilities are safe (in the developed countries, in other countries)? If not, why do we see limited participation, both in national work but also international (related to the Convention)? What would trigger higher degree of participation? Would you be interested to attend the workshop on public participation and safety to discuss availability of information to the public and the opportunities for its participation?
Thank you for your attention Lukasz Wyrowski Officer in charge Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents UN Economic Commission for Europe Tel.: +41 22 917 40 53 Fax.: +41 22 917 01 07 E-mail: Lukasz.Wyrowski@unece.org