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

The project “Capacity Building to Put the Aarhus Convention into Action and Support the Development of PRTR Systems in Selected South Eastern European Countries” was implemented between April 2011 and October 2013. The project aimed to:

  • improve the quality of participatory processes in environmental decision making;
  • reduce the barriers to access to justice; and
  • support the ratification and implementation of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR Protocol) and the development of PRTRs.

The project had three main components:

Public participation

The aim of this component was to increase the knowledge and skills of officials responsible for public participation in environmental decision making, and to build the capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs) to use participatory skills in order to be able to influence the decision-making process and thereby improve the quality of participatory processes and of environmental decisions.

Access to justice

The aim of this component was to increase the awareness and knowledge of the judiciary, authorities and CSOs with respect to access to justice in environmental matters, and to contribute to reducing or removing barriers to access to justice.

PRTR

This component focused on improving understanding among authorities, operators and NGOs of their role and responsibilities in developing functioning PRTRs, and of PRTR reporting requirements.

The project focused on the implementation gaps identified in the Aarhus national implementation reports and other assessments, and contributed to various capacity-building activities in areas where practical implementation lags behind. It also supported the development and operation of PRTR systems, in line with the PRTR Protocol, which is a new legal instrument in South Eastern Europe (SEE).