8–11 December 2020: Senior Research Fellow Denise Cheong and Research Associate Nivedita S Invited to UNECE Meeting of the Parties

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Senior Research Fellow Denise Cheong and Research Associate Nivedita S were invited to participate in the eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and the fourth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (Kyiv Protocol) which was held from 8 to 11 December 2020. They participated remotely in this four-day virtual meeting which was organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and hosted by Lithuania. Matters discussed included (i) the Guidance on the Applicability of the Convention to the Lifetime Extension of Nuclear Power Plants (a much-awaited tool to help the Espoo Implementation Committee address lifetime extension cases); (ii) the Vilnius declaration (where the contributions of Espoo Convention and the Kyiv Protocol to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals were expressly acknowledged); and (iii) the long-term strategy and action plan for the Espoo Convention and the Kyiv Protocol  (which includes plans to enable and encourage accession and implementation by non-UNECE countries). All three matters were finalised and adopted. The meeting also marked the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Espoo Convention with a day of special presentations by high-level representatives of the UNECE member States as well as from intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and academia.