Capacity Building to Put the Aarhus Convention into Action and Support the Development of PRTR Systems in Selected South Eastern European Countries

The Regional Environmental Center (REC) played a major role in the process of developing the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) and the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR Protocol), and has been instrumental in developing capacity for their implementation ever since. The REC developed the first Aarhus Convention: Implementation Guide and Handbook on Access to Justice under the Aarhus Convention (which was also published in Russian), as well as numerous national implementation tools and programmes in European Union member states, Western Balkan countries and the countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (the EECCA region).

As a major capacity-building provider for Aarhus Convention implementation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and South Eastern Europe (SEE), the REC works with various stakeholders, including governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), the judiciary, public interest lawyers, other legal professionals and operators.

Since 2011, the REC has provided continuous assistance on Aarhus Convention and PRTR Protocol implementation in SEE and Moldova with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety through the Advisory Assistance Programme for Environmental Protection in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The programme is supervised by the German Environment Agency.

Three REC-implemented projects, funded by Germany, provide targeted assistance to key stakeholders in SEE: