The Aarhus convention

An implementation guide

image of The Aarhus convention
The Aarhus Convention is an international legally binding instrument giving the public the rights of participation in decision making, access to information and justice regarding the environment. These rights were emphasized in the outcome document of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The Convention’s twin protections for environmental and human rights, and its focus on involving the public, provide a mechanism for holding governments to account in their efforts to address the multidimensional challenges facing our world today, including climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty reduction, increasing energy demands, rapid urbanization, and pollution. The Guide is designed for policy-makers, legislators, NGOs, academics and civil society.



General part

The General Part of the Aarhus Convention consists of the objective (art. 1), the definitions (art. 2) and the general provisions (art. 3). The objective of the Convention establishes its overall goal and places it within the context of the greater body of international environmental law and the international law of sustainable development. It should be kept in mind at all times in the interpretation and implementation of the more specific provisions of the Convention.


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