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Governance and access

Good environmental governance is measured by the effectiveness of strategies and initiatives implemented to achieve environmental goals. With environmental governance, part of the importance is how decisions are made, specifically focusing on the need for those effected by environmental decisions to be part of the decision-making process. The improvement of democratic practices, transparency and accountability of government institutions, along with civil participation in decision-making, are strongly related factors to the objectives of the protection of the environment and social/economic justice.

The Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, more commonly referred to as the Aarhus Convention, is an international agreement signed by 40 countries and the EU. The Aarhus Convention grants the public specific rights to access to information and public participation on matters concerning the local, national and trans-boundary environment. If they were not granted access, or were wronged, the Aarhus convention guarantees the public access to justice to remedy the wrong.