National Priority Setting Workshop in Mali Recommends to Make Public Participation in Decision Making a Reality at All Levels

The Malian Ministry of Environment and Sanitation organized a workshop in Bamako, Mali, 21-22 December 2010 to discuss national priorities regarding access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. These issues are covered by the Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, which was adopted at the Rio Summit in 1992 by Heads of States and Governments. The workshop was part of a collaborative project with UNITAR. In his opening remarks, Mr. Oumar Ouattara, technical advisor to the Minister of Environment and Sanitation highlighted that closing the gap between the reality on paper and real life practice is most urgent.  

The workshop brought together more than 40 participants from various government sectors and stakeholders. Participants discussed and adopted the draft National Profile, chose three key priorities for action to be implemented at short notice and adopted a draft National Action Plan based on the following priorities: strengthening availability of and access to environmental information; significantly increasing stakeholders participation in decision making at all levels (national regional and local) including revising the legal basis for this; and creating awareness at all levels of access to justice and the rights of citizens and organizations to seek redress.
 
During 2010 the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation had led a country-wide multi-stakeholder process to develop a National Profile on the three pillars of Principle 10. The profile pointed to a number of challenges, including a major gap between the formal situation regarding the rights under the three pillars of Principle 10 and their practical implementation. The most challenging issue in Mali seems to be to make people aware of their rights and to translate these rights into concrete action.

For further information please contact the National Focal Point for the project, Dr. Allassane Ba (padelia.mali@gmail.com) or visit: www.unitar.org/egp/principle-10-Mali.

Environmental Governance Programme contact: envgov@unitar.org.