Danes urged to participate in green decisions

Government launches campaign to remind citizens of their legal rights to participate

The Danish environment ministry today announced a campaign to remind individuals of their rights to participate in environmental decision-making. It admitted that barely four in every 10,000 of the population (0.04%) were taking advantage of the opportunities currently open to them.

Denmark "is one of the countries of the world where the citizens have the most formal rights in environmental legislation," the national environmental protection agency (EPA) added in a statement on the campaign. These rights have been further strengthened through Denmark's implementation of the 1998 Århus convention on citizens' environmental rights, it added.

The campaign aims to encourage more people to come forward with their opinions on the most important planning proposals for the regions in which they live. Many people are simply not aware of their right to do so; but "it is the duty of the government to inform citizens clearly of their opportunities to exert their influence," said EPA director Steen Gade.

As well as the Danish man in the street, the campaign will also target NGOs and civil servants from local authority to national level. A dedicated website has been created for the effort, named "Set environmental decisions in motion".

Follow Up:
Danish EPA, tel: +45 32 66 01 00, and web information.

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