Journalists to fight for access to environmental information
A new project entitled “Exercising the right to environmental information has been launched. The Lviv regional representative of the project, which is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation, is the Lviv civic journalist environmental organization WETI.
The project participants are planning to investigate the possibilities of access to environmental information at central and regional level, and also take active measures to put an end to restrictions on such information. They also intend to provide proposals for improving mechanisms for access to information and running information and educational measures for the public. Another crucial area of activity will be to establish legal precedents by lodging civil suits against violations of the right to this information. Lawyer Viacheslav Yakubenko will be providing project participants with legal consultation.
This work is aimed at enforcing the provisions of the Aarhus Convention which Ukraine was one of the first countries to ratify back in 1999. The Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters binds State signatories to prepare information on all issues of State governance, including on the state of the environment and environmental policy, and to use all possible channels to circulate such information. These channels begin with providing responses to formal information requests and extend to publicizing information via libraries, the print media, television, radio and the Internet.