By Elaine Murphy
What is The Environmental Pillar?
The Environmental Pillar is a national social partner, comprising 26 national environmental organisations. It works to promote the protection and enhancement of the environment, together with the creation of a viable economy and a just society, without compromising the viability of the planet on which we live for current and future generations of all species and ecosystems.
The Aarhus Convention entered into force in Ireland in 2012, signifying an important step forward for environmental democracy in this country.
The Aarhus Convention upholds the right of every person to have access to information about the environment, the right to participate in decision-making, and the right of access to justice in environmental matters.
The seminar is taking place as part of the Communicating Europe Initiative, which aims to support projects that will help improve the quality and accessibility of public information on European issues and promote an understanding and awareness of the European Union.
The event is free of charge and tickets are on Eventbrite: https://goo.gl/z3KfPY. Further events will be held in Athlone, Galway and Limerick in the coming months.
Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar, said:
“In a democracy, people have the right to know and should have easy access to information. ‘You might be looking for information about a development activity in your area, or trying to participate in a planning decision-making process, or simply trying to find out if the river you swim in every summer is polluted.
“Public participation helps make decision-makers more accountable and environmental decision-making more transparent. In the past, it has often been denied or avoided in the interest of economic, political and sometimes social policies.
“Our right to access relevant information and to participate is upheld in European law, and we hope that after this event, attendees will be more aware of their rights.”