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Public Involvement Network News

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Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy

How can democratic institutions and processes be designed so that they are compatible with, and foster environmental sustainability? This question was at the centre of discussions at the UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environment and Democracy.

“Democratic participation in environmental governance has become an internationally agreed principle” said Carlos Lopes, Executive Director of UNITAR and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations in his introductory remarks, “but it is the socio-economic context and local capacities which essentially determine how civic participation can effectively contribute to good governance and environmental sustainability.”

Invited EPA participants included Dr. Daniel Fiorino and Leanne Nurse, of EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation. Dr. Fiorino presented on “Understanding the democracy-environment interface: Perspectives of public officials and practitioners.”  Ms. Nurse was part of an earlier EPA-UNITAR team developing an online public involvement toolkit for public officials.  She explained EPA’s current training program for collaborative decision making and the multi-media tools that public involvement professionals are using in their communities of practice

The conference was conducted primarily as an academic forum.  The presented papers are forming the basis for a longer-term research agenda in the field.  Go here for more details about the conference and draft postings of presented papers and session summaries.Exit EPA Disclaimer

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