The Access Initiative

Guide on Access to Information and Participation in Environmental Issues in Colombia.

Posted by Lina Marcela Muñoz Posted: February 23, 2009

The Access Initiative Colombia in this guide presents a collection of tools for the right to information and participation in matters related to environment and natural resources. It is a contribution to progress in developing a participatory culture.

This guide aims to confront the challenges in the implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration (1992). The Guide provides the reader with a tool for approaching the issue of access to environmental information and participation from a legal point of view. It seeks to explain the importance of these issues in the context of national and international environmental issues.

The first part presents, in general terms, the most important aspects of access to environmental information, its legal nature, the principles that guide the national and international legal framework on the subject, the mechanisms for its effective implementation, the overview of the national Information system and agencies in the field. The following parts present different tools to access environmental information and to find out what information is available on the subject.

The second part of the document refers to participation in environmental decision-making, establishing not only the conceptual and regulatory framework, but the different forms and mechanisms for participation that exist in Colombia. The guide includes the formats to be used for general use and to exercise participatory rights under these mechanisms.

Convinced of the importance of information and social participation, the Access Initiative Colombia has atempted to contribute to achieve participatory democracy and a culture with regard to the environment, and has offered the reader a text which has been the result the joint work of academics and NGOs. Hopefully, this small effort effort will strengthen environmental management in Colombia.

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