The Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention
The Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention (MAAAC) is a guide for Mediterranean countries that are not Parties to the Aarhus Convention [Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Protecting your environment: The power is in your hands – Quick guide to the Aarhus Convention | UNECE – available in Arabic too) to do so. The MAAAC provides all the information needed for a country to prepare and eventually put in motion the mechanisms needed to accede to the Aarhus Convention.
With EU support via the WES project and via a multi-stakeholder effort, the MAAAC was developed with the secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, the Union for the Mediterranean, the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat, the UfM Parliamentary Assembly (Energy, Environment and Water Committee), the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment and Sustainable Development and the MEPIELAN Centre.
Currently, 12 Mediterranean countries and the European Union are already Parties to the Aarhus Convention. By securing effective access to information and to justice, as well as engagement of the public, accession to the Convention by the rest of the Mediterranean countries, can advance the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and facilitate the smooth roll-out of green and fair economy programmes.
The current mobilisation for a systematic approach builds on several previous initiatives of MIO-ECSDE and the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD) and the inclusion of this action in the agenda of the MCSD already in 2016 as a Flagship Initiative of the MSSD (2016-2025) on Environmental Governance. In 2019, the Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood region project, included the regional activity HRE-4-REG/P2P on Promoting the Aarhus Convention in the whole of the Mediterranean, in its workplan, with MIO-ECSDE as the partner of the LDK-led consortium, responsible for its implementation.