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5 Access to Information and Public Participation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by analysing the development of access to information and public participation under international environmental law and more specifically watercourses law. Notably, the Aarhus Convention, officially known as Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, represents the most advanced international development of individual procedural rights. The evolution and the contents of these important international documents can shed light on the rationale and best practices of promoting procedural rights at the international level. Attention is then paid to the Mekong region to identify and evaluate the existing and potential regional efforts on promoting transparency and public participation through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Greater Mekong Subregion Program (GMS), the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and major multilateral development banks like the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Keywords: ACFTA; ADB; ASEAN; decision-making; Greater Mekong Subregion Program (GMS); individual procedural rights; international environmental law; Mekong region; Mekong River Commission (MRC); watercourses law



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