Strengthening Participatory Environmental Governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo
On the 16 of Septmeber 2009 in Kinshasa, DRC more than 40 participants from various government sectors and diverse stakeholder groups kicked off a 1-year UNITAR supported project entitled Preparing a National Profile and Action Plan on the Implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. Principle 10 was adopted at the Rio Summit in 1992 and seeks to strengthen stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making through three main pillars: access to information, public participation and access to justice.
The project is coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism of the Democratic Republic of Congo, working collaboratively with various government sectors and stakeholder groups.
The event was opened by Mme Thérèse Olenga Kalonda, Minister of Environment of the Province of Kinshasa, who declared that “good environmental governance is becoming of key importance in all sectors under her mandate.” She emphasized that good environmental governance is “a top priority for waste management and sanitation and requires participation of all key stakeholders”.
The project in DRC is offering the opportunity to see how participatory environmental governance can be strengthened, specially the three pillars of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. Additionally, the project is also seen as a key contribution of UN agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo to deliver as ‘one UN’, fostering the positive impact on the daily lives of the people of DRC.
As a contribution to capacity development to strengthen access to information and public participation in environmental decision-making in Africa, UNITAR is providing support to three pilot countries in Africa in 2009-2010 to develop a National Profile, set priorities and develop an Action Plan to strengthen national capacities to implement Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. These countries are Mali, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The pilot projects have the objective to catalyze a multi-stakeholder process that assesses existing capacities at national and local levels and to identify opportunities for targeted capacity development.
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