If the CDM is to strengthen its reputation and the quality of its projects, it has to act swiftly and decisively in excluding problematic projects. Further safeguards have to be put in place to ensure such projects do not enter the CDM pipeline. Improved public participation infrastructures could go a long way to help flag and weed out such ‘bad apples.’
Several CDM projects (such as in Honduras, Panama and Colombia) that have violated public participation rights have caused an outcry from civil society organisations. There is widespread dismay that public participation in the CDM is not taken seriously.
Stringent public participation rules and clear guidance would allow for early detection of non-conformities in the CDM process. This would also help to filter out sub-standard projects at an early stage in the CDM project cycle.
The right to information, the right to public participation and the right to seek justice are basic human rights. Transparency, accountability, and integrity are integral components of an effective governance system, in particular, where public resources and decision making processes impact on human rights and sustainable development.
Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was agreed on at the UN Conference on Environment and Development:
“Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities,…, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.”
On the basis of the main obstacles in the CDM participation process, CDM Watch has continued to recommend the following improvements over the past years:
|CDM Watch recommendations for improved public participation:
CDM Watch very much welcomes the discussion of this issue at the upcoming CDM Executive Board meeting starting on 30 May 2011. The box below summarizes the points that are on the meeting agenda:
|Issues listed on the agenda of the upcoming CDM Executive Board meeting: