Public participation and environmental

Topics: Environment, Decision making, Natural environment Pages: 34 (1859 words) Published: January 12, 2015
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PUBLIC
PARTICIPATION AND
ENVIRONMENTAL
EDUCATION/
AWARENESS

Public

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participation – the
underlying idea is to involve
citizens in making decisions
which will ultimately affect
their lives.

 Public

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participation – officially recognised
during the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development (UNCED) in
Rio do Janeiro, 1992.
 Since then its importance and extent of
implementation have increased
significantly.
 Stockholm's conference, 1972 – art. 19
 Rio declaration – Principle 10 – promotes
public participation in environmental
decision-making and access to information
and justice in environmental matters

Principle 10 states:
“Environmental issues are best handled with the
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”.


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Today

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environmental human
rights, including the right to
participate in environmental
decision-making.
Participation is important in all
stages of the process, right from
the start and continuing
indefinitely throughout the
implementation, follow-up and
evaluation.

WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS?

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Environmental decision-making
is the task of three entities,
the business (or industry),
 the public,
the government

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION CAN
IMPROVE DEMOCRACY. –
 Involving

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more people in the process uses
a wider range of experiences.
 citizens have the right and responsibility to
influence decisions that will affect their
quality of life.
 Regular public participation shows people
that they are valued and that their views
are important. These exercises build trust
and confidence in the authority
undertaking the exercise and demonstrate
to the public that change is possible.

public

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participation – a
‘mutual learning’ process
between stakeholders and
decision-makers –
stakeholders have local
knowledge and ideas which
are vital for decision-makers
to arrive at the best policy
decisions..

 Public

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participation does not guarantee that
everyone will be happy with a decision –
different groups of people will have different
priorities and concerns – But involving the
public at an early stage in the decisionmaking process, and finding ways for their views to be heard and taken into account, helps
to build consensus – It means that concerns
can often be met early in a planning process,
when changes may be easier to make, rather
than late in the process when even small
changes may cost both time and money.

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IMPORTANT SUBJECTS FOR
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN
ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING
Development of environmental policies;
 • Development of legislation;
 • Development of regulatory standards;
 • Granting permits;
 • Local and regional physical planning;
 • Enforcement of laws, regulations and
permits;
 • Privatization; and
 • Trans-boundary environmental issues

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•

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TRADITIONAL TOOLS FOR
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

PARTNERSHIPS
a

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partnership – a group of
people united with a specific
aim, such as a group of
stakeholders with a common
goal – a community
organisation which promotes
public involvement in
economic, social and...
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