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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AUSTRIA

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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Since 1992, the following legislation in the area of sustainable development entered into force:

Amendments have been added to the Regional Planning Acts, the Environmental Protection Acts and the Construction Codes of the Laender.

Environmental impact assessments are usually used for projects, but not for programmes and policies. In 1994, the Federal Act on Environmental Impact Assessment and Citizens' Involvement (UVP Act) entered into force. The UVP Act calls for active participation of citizens in EIAs and requires a concise approval procedure to be carried out by the Laender governments for i.a. in waste treatment plants, power plants, certain industrial plants and skiing areas. Compliance with the UVP Act is controlled by the Environment Council consisting of representatives of the political parties, organizations of the Social Partnership, as well as federal, provincial and local governments.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In 1995, Austria adopted its first national environmental plan (NUP). The NUP was prepared by the Ministry of the Environment with the help of seven working groups. The key objective of the National Environmental Plan is to define the necessary structural changes needed to integrate environmental concerns into all political levels of the society.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

Austria takes an active part in the CSD process and related UNCED follow-up, and has a leadership role in the ECE and in the Environment for Europe process.

 

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: April 1997.

To access the Federal Environment Authority of Austria, click here. For information on Environmental Law around the World, click here:

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Curricula and educational material already promote gender-relevant information. Policies and strategies for achievement of equality in all aspects of society are being and have been drawn up.

In 1995, advancement of women was included in the Austrian Federal Constitution and the equality principle was extended. The Federal Equal Treatment Act is gradually being implemented. The institution of a women's advocate for equality issues, established under the Equal Treatment Act is also being created at the regional level. Legislation has been enacted for a fair division of labor within the family and to combat violence within the family (Law and Public Order Act, Enforcement Proceedings Act). Education in Austria is based on the principle of equality between men and women.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Girls and Technology programme has been initiated.

Programmes and Projects 

In Austrian,  gender issues have been taken into account in the following way:

Status

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed by Austria on 17 July 1980 and ratified on 31 March 1982.  

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For information on Women Watch in different countries, click here: For information on national plans of action in the follow-up to the Beijing Conference, click here:

 

CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies     

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The goal of ensuring that by year 2000 more than 50% of youth -- gender balanced -- have access to appropriate secondary education or vocational training has been reached. All legislation relevant to children in Austria has been examined on the basis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. To reduce youth unemployment, Austria promotes part-time work.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The government recognizes the concerns and interests of children as equal to those of adults and promotes increased inclusion of children as partners in the negotiating process.

Programmes and Projects   

Austrian projects focus on the establishment, furnishing and operation of technical colleges and training workshops as well as training programmes for the crafts and the provision of teaching staff for crafts-related and commercial training programmes. Austria grants scholarships and provides financial aid for students from the developing countries.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

In Austrian development cooperation, special emphasis has always been given to the education sector through comprehensive programmes (e.g. World Education Conference, World Bank) and through country-oriented initiatives of international organizations. 

Austrian Youth Organizations are members of the Austrian UNCED Commission.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

This issue does not apply to Austria.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

They also participate in the implementation of the Youth Environmental Plan and the National Environmental Action Plan which is a long-term environmental policy concept involving all competent bodies and interest groups.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

NGOs participate fully in the conception, establishment and evaluation of official mechanisms to review Agenda 21 implementation. Austrian major groups played an important role throughout the entire UNCED and CSD process, and they are represented in the Austrian UNCED Commission.

Major Groups participate in environmental impact assessments at the national and local levels, and in the design and implementation of sustainable development projects and policies.  For example, NGOs have contributed to the design of the Eco-Office project which evaluates the implementation of Agenda 21 in Austria and works for the harmonization of projects in this field. Contributions of NGOs to the sustainable development process at all levels have been constructive and helpful. Therefore, the Government has included NGO representatives in its national delegations to the major conferences and meetings in the field of sustainable development. More efforts are needed to involve them better in regional decision-making processes.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

The Government of Austria provides substantive financial and technical support to a number of NGOs for their national sustainable development efforts.  For example, during the years 1994 and 1995, the Ministry of the Environment contributed over US$19 million; the Ministry of Economic Affairs, over US$35,000 (in the form of contracts or fees for services); and the Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts, over US$200,000, plus an additional US$1.33 million for cooperation with regional authorities.

Cooperation  

Austria strongly supports the idea of granting NGOs the status of active observers in the Alpine Convention. It also supports maximum participation of NGOs within the framework of the United Nations. Significant bilateral and multilateral NGO initiatives in which the government has been involved are the following: Climate Alliance, Anti-Atom International, East-West Cooperation of ARGE Umwelterziehungand the IUCN Covenant Project.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

 LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Three Austrian cities (Vienna, Graz, Linz) signed the Charter of Aalborg to draw up a Local Agenda 21, Vienna has also signed the Charta of the European Regions for the Environment (Valencia). The Government supports Local Agenda 21 initiatives. In accordance with the principle of federalism, as laid down in the Austrian Constitution, municipal and local authorities play an essential role in public administration and policy formulation in Austria.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Many local authorities have entered into partnerships with local authorities of other Austrian provinces or even beyond national borders. The increasing number of partnerships with local authorities of Hungary and the involvement of Austrian territorial administrative bodies in the field of climate control are particularly noteworthy.

Some 101 municipalities and communities as well as eight Austrian Laender together with municipalities from the neighboring countries have formed a "Climate Alliance". They have committed themselves to reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2010 through concrete measures in the field of traffic, energy, procurement etc. and to supporting their partners in the Amazon region in the active preservation of rainforests.

Programmes and Projects   

Initiatives taken by the Provinces and aimed at the rehabilitation and revival of rural communities are of special importance. The village renewal strategies focus on the social, economic and cultural revival of village life.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Federal Laender, Federation of Austrian Towns and Federation of Austrian Municipalities are members of the Austrian UNCED Commission.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For national information on regional and local authorities, click here.

 

WORKERS AND UNIONS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The principle of combating risks at their source, central for occupational safety and health legislation, helps to promote integrated protection of the environment and consequently sustainable production patterns. At the level of the company, staff representatives have certain participatory rights concerning the working environment. Beyond that level, the Federal Chamber of Labor and the Austrian Trade Union Federation are actively involved in the legislative process.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In the framework of Social Partnership, the Federal Chamber of Labor and the Austrian Trade Union Federation, as representatives of workers and employees, seek to promote high environmental standards in all matters of environmental policy. They recognize that the working environment and the environment beyond plant level form an inseparable unit.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

Most relevant ILO Conventions have been ratified and workers take full part in National Agenda 21 discussions and implementation. The Federal Chamber of Labor and the Austrian Trade Union Federation are members of the Austrian UNCED Commission.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

 

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

There are governmental policies encouraging increasing the efficiency of resource use, and requiring recycling. There are sectoral strategies, information campaigns etc. . The government has concluded voluntary agreements with many economic sectors.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The Chamber of Commerce Austria and the Association of Austrian Industrialists are members of the Austrian UNCED Commission. Employers' representatives take part in federal decision-making on an equal basis with the representatives of the workers. The business community in Austria has taken several measures to diminish the burden on the environment through strategic, organizational and technical activities.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

The capital expenditure by industry for sustainable development activities amounted to approximately ATS 30 billion in 1994, and the amount was expected to increase in the future.

Cooperation  

No information is available

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

 

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

At the national level, a Council for Technology Development has been established to improve communication among various bodies and institutions. This council concentrates on environmental aspects. In 1994, it was opened to the public by the appointment of a representative of citizens.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In its Technology Policy Strategy (1989), the Austrian Federal Government stipulated that research and technology policies must take into account their respective environmental impact.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The Forum of Austrian Scientists for the Environment and the Austrian Society of Environmental Technology are members of the Austrian UNCED Commission.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

 

FARMERS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No  information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Standing Committee of the Presidents of the Austrian Chambers of Agriculture is a member of the Austrian UNCED Commission.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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SCIENCE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Federal Ministry of Science and Research is primarily responsible for natural and social sciences and related legislation and policies in Austria. It is also represented in the national coordination mechanism for sustainable development. The Science and Research Council, Technological Development Council and the Conference of Austrian University Presidents are the other bodies directly involved in national decision-making in this field.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in science for sustainable development are: World-Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, Global 2000, the Austrian Scientific Forum for Environmental Protection, the Austrian Society for the Protection of Nature and the Environment, and the Austrian Society for the Environment and Technology.

Programmes and Projects   

According to the information received from the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, the most important post- Rio projects related to sustainable development are the following:  

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

The public funding for scientific research on environment and development has more than tripled from 1980 to 1994. (From ATS 5,332,879,000, in 1984 to ATS 15,529,501,000 in 1994). There is no national target to increase the number of scientists working in this field. Sustainable development is a well-established topic in science and politics, with increasing importance. The Austrian Federal Government has passed a resolution to increase the quota of women in science. In case of equal qualifications, women should be favored. Brain-drain is not a significant problem in Austria.

Cooperation  

In a programme that ends in 1998, Austria is participating and investing in several multilateral and bilateral programmes addressing science for sustainable development, including:

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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INFORMATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Ministries: Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management; Federal Ministry of Transports, Innovation, and Technology; Federal Chancellery.  

Universities: Vienna University of Economics (Interdisciplinary Institute of Environmental Economics and Management); Vienna University for Agriculture; Veterinary University Vienna; University of Salzburg; University of Graz; University of Klagenfurt; Vienna University of Technology (Institute for Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering).  

Institutions: Academy of Lower Austria; Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development (ÖIN); Austrian Institute of Ecology; Environmental Academy for Upper Austria; Kornberg Institute for Sustainable Development; Stenum GmbH; SUSTAIN Association for the Coordination of Research on Sustainability; Institute for Sustainable Techniques and Systems Joanneum Research; Network of Communal Environmental Companies; OIKODROM Sustainable City Forum; ÖKO-Data service GmbH; Austrian Association for Agricultural Research; Austrian Research Center Seibersdorf Department Environmental Planning

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The strategies and measures outlined in the NUP (Nationaler Umweltplan - National Environmental Plan) are background point of a number of concerted implementation efforts (examples are: the Waste Management Strategy Plan, Clean technology Policy Campaign ).  In view of our goal “Integration“, a major concern in this Networking approach is to avoid an “Environmental Department“ bias. Therefore as many actors from other sectors as possible (Economic, the Traffic Policy, the Spatial and urban planning, the Finance Sectors, etc) are involved.  A comprehensive implementation strategy is in preparation.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Several organizations and institutions are involved: Ministries (Environment, Agriculture, Science) Universities (Vienna, Graz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg) Non-university related institutions:  Austrian Institution for Sustainable Development (ÖIN), Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), Association for the Coordination of Research on Sustainability (SUSTAIN), Öko-Soziales Forum (ÖSF)

Programmes and Projects   

Numerous Austrian projects and initiatives emphasize on sustainability:

Network Sustainable Austria Project

In 1997 the Austrian Federal Ministry for Environment launched the network “Sustainable Austria“ for exchange of information and experience regarding the question of implementation of sustainable development between experts of the public sector (regional and national level), private sector and scientists. The network meets twice a year, a newsletter appears quarterly.

Implementation of Local Agenda 21 Project

The Province of Syria started with the implementation of Local Agenda 21. In each district of the province at least one community is involved in this project. Accompanied scientific research and coordination by experts ensures high quality of the process.

Best practice database Project

The best practice database of Austrian sustainable development projects ("NachhaltigkeitsTATENbank") shows more than 100 examples of success. It is meant to encourage imitation and to introduce the Austrian performance to the public in the best possible way. Every month three special topics are emphasized and show the most interesting projects according to that (at the moment availably only in German language).

Factor 4+ -Congres Project

A project to address the subject of “Sustainability and Future-orientation” with a conference. Partners are the town of Klagenfurt, the province of Carinthia the Ministry of Environment together with the Ministry of Science and the World Business Council.  

Status   

Interaction between concepts and the actors behind these concepts at the Federal, the Länder and at regional level, as regards the further development and harmonization of Sustainable Development strategies in Austria, is not managed in the context of a formal framework . In the last years we have being building up a Network of Key contacts and activists including both “Planners“ driving forward the Top/Down approach and “Practitioners“ responsible for “success stories“ mostly in a local and regional context  

Availability of sustainable development information at the national level could be summarized as follows:

Agenda 21 Chapters

Very good

Good

Some good data but many gaps

Poor

2. International cooperation and trade

X

     
3. Combating poverty    

X

 
4. Changing consumption patterns  

X

   
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability  

X

   
6. Human health  

X

   
7. Human settlements  

X

   
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making    

X

 
9. Protection of the atmosphere

X

     
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources

X

     
11. Combating deforestation

X

     
12. Combating desertification and drought    

X

 
13. Sustainable mountain development

X

     
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development

X

     
15. Conservation of biological diversity    

X

 
16. Biotechnology  

X

   
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources        
18. Freshwater resources

X

     
19. Toxic chemicals

X

     
20. Hazardous wastes

X

     
21. Solid wastes

X

     
22. Radioactive wastes  

X

   
24. Women in sustainable development    

X

 
25. Children and youth    

X

 
26. Indigenous people        
27. Non-governmental organizations  

X

   
28. Local authorities  

X

   
29. Workers and trade unions  

X

   
30. Business and industry

X

     
31. Scientific and technological community  

X

   
32. Farmers  

X

   
33. Financial resources and mechanisms    

X

 
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building  

X

   
35. Science for sustainable development    

X

 
36. Education, public awareness and training    

X

 
37. International cooperation for capacity-building  

X

   
38. International institutional arrangements

X

     
39. International legal instruments

X

     
40. Information for decision-making  

X

   

Informal reviews of the existing information mechanisms for decision-making in the light of Agenda 21 have been organized.

Austria has a long tradition in collecting and evaluating data for decision-making in various fields, e.g. economy, environment, demographics, and health. Information is collected by institutes, industry and the private sector, researchers at universities and NGOs. In recent years, the Austrian Central Statistical Office, together with other institutions, has been engaged in a number of activities to develop Green Accounting.

Challenges

In accordance with the relevant activities at the international level (OECD, EUROSTAT - European Union Statistical Office), the Austrian Central Statistical Office (OESTAT) has carried out a set of environmental indicators for some areas. Some of these data can be used as sustainable development indicators, but experience has shown that the main problems which have to be overcome are due to the fact that neither the concept of sustainable development nor the carrying capacity of various ecosystems are understood in sufficient detail. A more detailed and, in most cases, analytical understanding will be required to identify and define indicators for sustainable development and subsequently collect and evaluate pertinent data.  

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Climate campaign, eco-label, mediation, campaign for mobility in schools, freshwater campaign and environmental day in Austria.  Public information, training, workshops are provided for decision-makers and multiplication at all levels.

Information   

This Network serves as a Clearing-House, a communication and information transfer mechanism, where the Ministry is acting as a Mediator, providing expertise, financial support, tool kits (such as tools for self-evaluation, a Handbook for LA 21 Initiatives, an Internet-Databank on local and regional success stories), and is providing for a structured dialogue (Roundtables, Newsletter, electronic discussion-platform ).

Development and use of indicators of sustainable development Some focal issues trying to broaden the view integrating also economic and social aspects; investigation of eco-efficiency for various sectors of economy (energy, household, transport, agriculture, industry) including social parameters such as a number of persons in employment or number of single households; activities to establish a monitoring system for biodiversity; study on indicators for ecologically particularly sensitive areas; approach to use these indicators in regional planning processes.

Harmonization and standardization of data/ establishment of a national and internet. Information Network/preservation and capacity-building of information:  Agreed system on responsibilities for indicators and respective data. The level of indicators is coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the level of data collection by „Statistik Österreich“. This means that these institutions cooperate on the respective level with other organization, for the data level the Statistik Österreich especially with the Environment Agency which is mainly responsible for environmental data. 

Best practice database and Website: www.nachhaltigkeit.at

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation  

Austria is ready to contribute to international efforts in identifying and defining indicators for sustainable development and in subsequently collecting and evaluating pertinent data. It supports in particular the work done under the CSD Work Programme on Indicators for Sustainable Development.

Austria is one of the founding members of the Regional Environmental Center in Budapest (Hungary) and the Central European Initiative. The Central European Data Request Facility (CEDAR) was founded in 1990 to support the efforts of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries by supplying these countries with information, quality status of expert knowledge and access to a worldwide information network. It is based in Vienna. In 1993, CEDAR intensified its activities by becoming a UNEP/INFOTERRA Regional Service Center for the CEE countries. In addition, Austria is one of the six donor countries participating in the UNEP/ESA (European Space Agency) Mercure Project. This programme will provide a global satellite telecommunication connection between various countries. A modern network will allow access to and exchange of environmental data such as UNEP/GRID. Moreover, it will be connected to the CEDAR network by means of a ground station in Vienna (operational as of 1997).

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update:  February 2001.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement 

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status 

Austria's interest is focused towards effective implementation of existing multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and of MEAs yet to be designed. Of special importance among such measures are mechanisms of procedures to monitor and to improve implementation of and compliance with MEAs by helping and encouraging parties to fulfill the obligations and commitments arising under them by simple, cooperative, non-judicial and transparent means. Austria has raised its voice in favor of the elaboration of such mechanisms, tailored to the specific requirements of the instruments they serve.  

In 1994, an international symposium on Sustainable Development and International Law was held in Baden, near Vienna. The symposium took stock of progress achieved and obstacles encountered in the implementation of legal instruments in the field of sustainable development and discussed the role of various stakeholders in this respect.

At a regional seminar on Trade and Environment Processing and Production Methods, organized in Austria in February 1994, the issue of present and future possibilities of applying environmentally relevant legal instruments and mechanisms was discussed.

In 1995, the Austrian Government organized within the framework of the 7th Conference of the Contracting States of the Montreal Protocol an international workshop on "the Ozone Treaties and their Influence on the Building of Environmental Regimes". It dealt with important legal questions such as scientific uncertainty and the role and importance of implementation monitoring and non-compliance procedures.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

Austria plays an active role in the further development of international environmental law. Austria has submitted several concrete proposals and taken appropriate initiatives both in the course of the follow-up process of the Rio Conference as well as within the framework of UNEP, especially in connection with the assessment of specific environmental agreements (e.g. the Montreal Protocol, FCCC, the Basel Convention).

Austria has repeatedly underlined the potential value of identifying generally recognized principles of international law as they pertain to sustainable development and welcomes the continuing discussion of those principles and overall objectives which should be taken into account in decision-making at all levels, giving special attention to principles on cooperation in a transboundary context, such as the precautionary principle, prior informed consent, access to information, public participation or environmental impact assessment.

Austria has been actively contributing to the review of the Montevideo Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law. As a result of an Austrian initiative, the 18th Meeting of the UNEP Board of Governors adopted resolution 18/9 on International Environmental Law and Sustainable Development. Austria participates actively in the follow-up process of resolution 18/9.

Austria is willing to participate actively in the follow-up of Decision 4/6 of the Commission on Sustainable Development ("International legal instruments and mechanisms"), especially with a view of its due reflection in the results of UNGASS 1997.

Austria has taken the necessary legislative measures for the implementation of the ECE Convention on Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment and has instituted the ratification procedure for the ECE Convention on Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents. On the basis of the ECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Waterways and International Lakes, work on a specific convention on the hydrological cooperation for the protection of the river Danube has begun. The signing of the framework convention took place in Sofia in June 1994. In 1994, Austria ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Alpine Regions.

*    *    *

This information is based on Austria's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


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