Article 10 of the Aarhus Convention requires that the implementation of the Convention is kept under continuous review. This is achieved through regular reporting by the Parties in National Implementation Reports (NIRs). These are to be completed and submitted to the UNECE ahead of the Meeting of the Parties (MoP) which is held every 3 years. Further information is available on the UNECE Website.
Ireland completed and submitted its First National Implementation Report in 2014. Ireland prepared and submitted its Second National Implementation Report in 2017 ahead of the 6th Meeting of the Parties in Budva, Montenegro in September 2017.
To complete the National Implementation Report the Department invited comments from stakeholders, members of the public and other interested parties on a preliminary draft report, updated to reflect any changes in the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Ireland since the previous report in 2014.
During the public consultation process, which ran for 4 weeks at the end of 2016, 24 submissions were received. All submissions received were analysed and summarised in a decision-making table and used to inform the final draft of the report. The decision-making table states where changes were made to the NIR based on the public consultation and where comments received were not included in the final report, explains why they were not included.
A number of comments were received suggesting further work in implementing the Aarhus Convention in Ireland. These have been noted and are recorded in the decision-making tables as suggestions for the future but are outside the scope of the National Implementation Report which is intended to report on the current implementation of the Convention in Ireland. The relevant Government Department / public authority will be informed of these suggestions.
The decision-making process is outlined in the table below;
- A number of comments relate to specific cases. Where possible, the issue in question has been extracted from these examples and summarised in the decision-making tables. It is not considered appropriate to include individual examples in the National Implementation Report.
- The outcome of this consultation supports the work being carried out by the Aarhus Convention Meeting of the Parties (MoP) and into the effective implementation of the Aarhus Convention by the Parties to the Convention. Nationally, it also serves to provide valuable information for the development of policy in the area of the Aarhus Convention. For more information with regards to the consultation please forward any queries to email@example.com
First National Implementation Report 2014
Ireland submitted its first National Implementation Report on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Ireland to the secretariat of the Aarhus Convention on 31 December 2013. A copy of the final report is available below:-
Public Consultation - Access to Justice & the Implementation of Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention
In 2014 a public consultation was held following engagement with stakeholders including the Environmental Law Implementation Group, to consider if primary legislative amendments, or non-legislative instruments could be used to give fuller effect to the Aarhus Convention in Ireland, further underpinning its implementation in practice.
Since the ratification of the Aarhus Convention in 2012, Ireland has taken many opportunities to engage with relevant stakeholders nationally and the EU Commission regarding the implementation of the Convention in Ireland. This is also reflected in the process for preparing the Implementation Reports.
This public consultation was held to invite comment on the domestic implementation of Article 9 of the Convention on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, providing the opportunity for all to input into the process to ensure on-going effectiveness, transparency and public participation.
The public consultation ran for 10 weeks until September 2014. The Department thanks all who engaged in the public consultation process and these will inform the review of the existing legislation implementing the Aarhus Convention in Ireland.