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Institutional Arrangements
Guide to Public Participation under the Protocol on Water and Health

Guide to Public Participation under the Protocol on Water and Health

Year of publication:
2013
The aim of the Protocol on Water and Health is to improve access to drinking water and sanitation and to protect human health through better water management and protection of ecosystems. This Guide is designed especially for government officials and agencies who manage the process of public participation.

Building block(s)
Institutional Arrangements
Scope
National
Subsector
Both urban and rural
Languages
English
Organization responsible for the tool
UNECE - United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Detailed description of Tool

The Protocol on Water and Health stresses the importance of involving the public in decision-making concerning water and health.

Access to information and public participation are essential for building public awareness of issues, for giving the public the opportunity to express its concerns, for enabling public authorities to take due account of such concerns and for ensuring that the decisions are implemented in the fairest possible way.

The Guide to Public Participation can be used as a tool to help improve the planning and carrying out of the public-participation process. It offers explanations of legal obligations with regard to public participation and access to information under the Protocol and other international frameworks. It contains recommendations and examples aimed to inspire Parties and members of the public to better assert their rights and fulfil their obligations in organizing or taking part in the important public-participation process.

The Guide encourages authorities to take into account the results of public participation at the different stages:

  • setting targets and target dates
  • drawing up water management plans
  • reporting.

Government officials and agencies who manage the process of public participation should find it useful for identifying some of the best practices for planning, skills and behaviours, which they can use to design and put in place a meaningful public-participation process, based on examples from the pan-European region.

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