The section of the portal dedicated to environmental rights has been entirely updated. It provides the opportunity to get to know the Aarhus Convention which gives citizens the right to be involved in environmental matters.

The environment we live in is everyone's business. It can influence our quality of life and health.  
The Aarhus Convention is an international treaty established by the United Nations in order to give citizens the right to be involved in environmental matters. This international Convention has been transposed into European and Belgian law.

The Aarhus Convention consists of three pillars which have been implemented at the federal level as follows :

1. Access to federal environmental information

On the one hand, the authorities must make environmental information spontaneously available on their websites (active advertising) and, on the other hand, every citizen can request environmental information from the authorities (passive advertising). In this way, citizens can access existing environmental information available to public bodies in the form of transmittable documents.

2. Public participation in the environmental decision-making process 

Every citizen can give their opinion on plans, programmes and projects relating to the environment through public consultations. Citizens' comments should be taken into account as far as possible. 

3. Access to justice in environmental matters

Every citizen may appeal if they consider that their request for information has not been properly dealt with by the authority, if they find irregularities in the course of a public consultation or if conflicts arise in environmental matters. In addition, certain environmental organisations can appeal against violations of environmental law.

The national portal (The Aarhus Convention in Belgium), coordinated by the federal authorities and the three Regions, provides general information on the Convention, its pillars and their transposition in Belgium.