The Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
Public authorities and natural or legal persons having public responsibilities in relation to the environment and wich are under the control of public authorities (such as utility companies supplying energy or water).
You don’t need to provide a reason for your request. You or your organization does not have to be a citizen or resident of the country from which you are requesting the information, or located near the area you are requesting information about.
In the event of any imminent threat to human health or the environment, for example an industrial accident which releases harmful chemicals into local river, all information which could enable the public to take measures to prevent or mitigate harm arising from the threat should be disseminated immediately to members of the public who may be affected.
Public participation should be enabled at the earliest stage of decision-making. Timely - allowing sufficient time for informing the public and for the public to prepare and participate effectively in the decision-making. Prompt notice of decision to ensure timely public response.
Access to justice procedures should be fair, equitable and timely. The remedies provided should be adequate and effective and there should be access to injunctive relief where appropriate.
Parties must provide an inexpensive, accessible way for people to submit their complaints.
Any activities which are likely to cause harm to the environment can be challenged according to Aarhus convention. Annex I of the convention gives a list of possible harm activities but is not exhaustive.
According to Article 9.2 of Aarhus convention any person or organization which expresses public concern or has sufficient interest and impairment of rights can go to court.
Although terminology varies considerably among agencies and governing bodies conducting them, most hearings fall into one of four broad categories: Legislative hearings - give people an opportunity to comment on proposed legislation. Quasi-legislative hearings - are conducted by administrative agencies and various appointed boards and commissions. Adjudicatory or quasi-judicial hearings - held by administrative agencies, boards, or commissions, are usually much more formal. Investigatory hearings - are sometimes conducted by congressional or state legislative committees.
Different channels are appropriate for different audiences, and the choice of channel will depend on the audience being targeted, the messages being delivered and the context of the emergency. Using a variety of channels or a channel mix is recommended so that messages can be reinforced through multiple sources.
The Bern Convention of the Council of Europe and the European Union's Habitats Ddirective are primary legal instruments driving species and habitat protection in Europe. While the HD has stronger enforcement mechanism than the BC, it covers a smaller geographical region.
The objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity are “the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources” (Article 1). Dealing with economic and institutional factors is key to achieving the objectives of the Convention.
Link to explanation:
1. Dam Removal Europe - Impact of small hydro power plants: ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVU9OjPRbh0
Note: If solving the quiz on the computer, open the links in a new tab of the browser. Right click on the link - open link in new tab.
In general, there are three different configurations of hydro power plants: derivation (run-of the river, diversion); storage and pumped storage plants.
Hydropower plants are classified according to their energy production capacity, expressed in megawatts. While large scale hydropower plants can produce well over 100 MW, small hydropower plants generally produce less than 10 MW. Based on energy production capacity, small-scale hydropower production is broken into four size categories of pico- (<5 kilowatts), micro- (5-100 kW), mini- 100 kW-1 MW), and small (1-10 MW).
Link to explanation:
Ecological flow can be interpreted as the minimum value of discharge that needs to be maintained in a river in order to ensure good (or optimum) conditions for the existing ecosystems, according to appropriate criteria based on the hydrological and environmental conditions respecting the biological balance.The European frameworks to date, unfortunately, still note situations in which the current unavailability of specific measures and monitoring activities requires the adoption and implementation of a transitional phase in which the “no deterioration” condition of the quality status of water bodies must be achieved and guaranteed. This condition might be determined on the basis of scientific methodologies arising from relevant international experiences, as suggested by the European Commission in the guidelines on ecological flowLink to explanation:
The Balkans are home to some of the last wild rivers in Europe. For SHPPs to function, water is diverted into pipes, leaving a bare minimum in the river stream. Hydropower plant construction interferes with the terrain by cutting down trees and permanently damaging the ground; it also endangers water supply for local communities, biodiversity and the entire ecosystem—causing irreversible damage to nature.Link to explanation:
The Balkan Rivers are one of the most important hotspots for European biodiversity, especially fish and molluscs, hosting many threatened as well as endemic species. 1The Western Balkans is a region known for its prominent trout diversity, as seen in the many trout taxa described in all three main drainage areas found here. 2Link to explanation:1. Biodiversity hotspot https://www.balkanrivers.net/en/photos/biodiversity-hotspot2. Škraba, Dubravka & Tošić, Ana & Mrdak, Danilo & Kanjuh, Tamara & Špelić, Ivan & Nikolić, Vera & Piria, Marina & Simonović, Predrag. (2020). Alternative life-history in native trout (Salmo spp.) suppresses invasive effect of alien trout strains introduced into streams at the western part of the Balkans. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2020.00188/full
Bioindicators include biological processes, species, or communities and are used to assess the quality of the environment and how it changes over time. Changes in the environment are often attributed to anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., pollution, land use changes) or natural stressors (e.g., drought, late spring freeze), although anthropogenic stressors form the primary focus of bioindicator research. The widespread development and application of bioindicators has occurred primarily since the 1960s. Over the years, we have expanded our repertoire of bioindicators to assist us in studying all types of environments (i.e., aquatic and terrestrial), using all major taxonomic groups.Link to explanation:
1. Bioindicators: Using Organisms to Measure Environmental Impacts https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/bioindicators-using-organisms-to-measure-environmental-impacts-16821310/
Salmo trutta — morpha fario is a monodromous species that is bound to only one habitat type within which it migrates.
Moreover, SHPPs are generating very small amounts of electricity, hugely disproportionate to investment in their construction and destruction of nature. The Bankwatch report revealed that by the end of 2020, they produced only 2.2 per cent of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s electricity, 3 per cent in Montenegro, 4 per cent in North Macedonia and just 0.62 per cent in Serbia. In 2021, SHPPs generated 2.5 per cent of electricity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4.1 per cent in Montenegro and a mere 0.1 per cent in Serbia.Link to explanation:
Water makes up 75% of the Earth's surface, and 95% of the volume of the lithosphere
The ocean holds about 97 percent of the Earth's water; the remaining three percent is distributed in many different places, including glaciers and ice, below the ground, in rivers and lakes, and in the atmosphere.Link to explanation:
UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) data from 2019 shows that billions of people around the world are continuing to suffer from poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services, 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services, and 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities.