MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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Building Capacity for Public Participation in Environmental Decisionmaking
Awakening Participation
REC Public Participation Training Module
Monday 12 January 2004, by Web Team

The REC Public Participation Training Project has three primary goals:
- to increase the public’s awareness of the benefits and value of public participation in environmental decisionmaking;
- to strengthen the capacity and skills of the public in formal and nonformal methods/techniques of public participation in environmental decisionmaking processes;
- to encourage multi-sector cooperation and partnership in environmental decisionmaking among citizens, NGOs, local and national governments and business/industry.

Training Objectives The REC Public Participation Training Module is designed to provide workshop participants or readers with the following knowledge and basic skills:
- an understanding of who the key environmental stakeholders are in their county, the diversity of priorities and opinions among different sectors of society, and the relevance and benefits of multi-sectoral collaboration, cooperation and partnership for effective environmental decisionmaking;
- an understanding of the general guiding principles and relevance of public participation in environmental decisionmaking and the relative benefits and costs of participatory approaches; an understanding of the current status of public participation in environmental decisionmaking in their country, specifically, and in the CEE region, more generally;
- an understanding of the legal and nonformal framework for public participation in local, national and international decisionmaking processes, and methods and opportunities for utilizing these instruments.

Training Module Design The Module incorporates both an awareness raising and skills-building approach to public participation training. The module includes both general information, guiding principles and techniques of public participation, as well as very specific legal and nonformal methods for exercising basic public participation rights and privileges. The materials are also designed in "modular" form to allow flexibility in use for a variety of audiences, experience levels and duration.

Module 1: Multi-Sectoral Cooperation Module 1 introduces participants to the importance and benefits of a multi-sectoral approach to public participation, including the benefits, costs and motivations of cooperation among sectors of society.

Module 2: Principles of Public Participation Module 2 introduces participants to the basic concepts, terminology and principles of public participation, including an understanding of what constitutes "participatory decisionmaking" both at an organizational and national level, who constitutes "the public," roles and responsibilities of authorities and individual citizens in public participation, differentiation between "active" and "passive" participation, levels of participation, and the costs and benefits of public participation.

Module 3: Developing a Public Participation Strategy Module 3 guides participants through a strategic thinking process designed to help them develop a participation action strategy for their own particular case or problem, including problem identification, establishing goals/objectives, assessing multi-sectoral stakeholders, allies and opponents, identifying methods and techniques applicable to their case and examining their problem from the variety of perspectives presented in Modules 4 through 9.

Module 4: Public Participation in National Level Governmental Decisionmaking Module 4 introduces participants to the options and possibilities for public participation in the environmental decisionmaking processes at the national level, including an understanding of the fundamental powers of individuals and institutions at the national level, and both direct and direct opportunities to gain information about or access to national decisionmaking processes in their country.

Module 5: Public Participation in Local Level Governmental Decisionmaking Module 5 introduces participants to options and possibilities for public participation in decisionmaking processes at the local or municipal level, including an understanding of the fundamental powers of individuals and institutions at the local level, and both direct and direct opportunities to gain information about or access to local decisionmaking processes in their country.

Module 6: Public Participation in Business Decisionmaking Module 6 introduces participants to the options and possibilities for the public to influence the activities of business and industry institutions which have an impact on the environment, including a variety of options in their country for the public to gain information about business activities, and the rights and obligations of businesses to provide information on their activities.

Module 7: Public Participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process Module 7 introduces participants to the options and possibilities for public participation in the EIA process in their country, including an understanding of the EIA procedure, and opportunities for involvement at each stage of the process.

Module 8: Public Participation and International Financing Institutions Module 8 introduces participants to the options and possibilities for public participation in the decisionmaking processes of international financing institutions, including the procedures for public access to information as well as the importance and relevance of such public involvement.

Module 9: Challenging Decisions of Public and Private Institutions Module 9 introduces a variety techniques for appealing decisions throught judicial processes.

Source : The Regional Environmental Center for Centreal and Eastern Europe (CEP)




Building Capacity for Public Participation in Environmental Decisionmaking
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