Citizen participation in environmental governance

Séminaire Développement durable et économie de l’environnement

Qu’apporte la participation de la société civile aux négociations internationales sur le développement durable en matière de processus de décision politique ? Peut-on en décrire les effets empiriques ? Dans quelle mesure ces processus participatifs participent-ils de notre volonté d’apporter des solutions à des problèmes hautement complexes ? Et que peut-on attendre de tels processus ? Lars Klüver, directeur du Danish Board of Technology (DBT), abordera ces questions, en tirant les enseignements de ses vingt-cinq années d'expérience pratique et théorique dans l'analyse des politiques, l'évaluation des technologies et de la prospective.

What does citizen participation to sustainable development negotiations provide to the policy-making process? Can one track its empirical effects? How does such participation relate to our wish to bring solutions to highly complex "wicked" problems? What can we then expect from such processes? These are the questions that Lars Klüver, director of the Danish Board of Technology (DBT), will address and debate on, drawing lessons from 25 years of practical and theoretical experience in policy analysis, technology assessment (TA) and foresight.

Lars Klüver* (Danish Board of Technology)

Citizen participation in environmental governance. Drawing lessons for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda

Friday January 25th 2013, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm Conference venue: Room Nathan Cité internationale, 17 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris

Registration online on IDDRI website The seminar will be held in English.   Please note that IDDRI conferences are recorded and then available on IDDRI’s and TerreTv’s websites.


In 1992, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development ratified the principle according to which “environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have […] the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available.”

Since 1992, participatory processes—such as deliberations or other forms of civil society consultation—have multiplied in the field of sustainable development, both in the framework of international summits and in domestic policy-making processes. Such an increase in civil society participatory processes, which are often organised and sponsored by governments and/or international organisations, suggests that they are essential to the formulation of sustainable development policies and to their successful delivery. Yet, while these participatory processes produce recommendations that are passed on to decision-makers, their influence on policy formulation varies significantly according to national, regional or international levels of policy-making, and according to the type of issues addressed.   Building on his comprehensive experience in public participation to policy formulation in both Denmark and at international level, Lars Klüver will: critically review the empirical outcomes of participatory processes in the field of sustainable development; and assess their deficiencies and potential contribution to sustainable development policy-making in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.   * MSc in Ecology and Environmental Biology, Lars Klüver is director of the Danish Board of Technology (DBT), the parliamentary technology assessment institution of Denmark, and has 25 years of practical and theoretical experience in policy analysis, technology assessment (TA) and foresight. He has been directing numerous participatory and expert-based TA activities. The DBT has a worldwide reputation as a front-runner with regards to policy analysis involving participation, and the toolbox of the DBT includes a large variety of participatory methods developed or adapted to support knowledge-based decision-making. Lars Klüver has represented the participatory approach to policy-making in EU expert groups as an advisor and in workshops all over the world. He was the initiator of World Wide Views on Global Warming, the first ever global citizen deliberation process. His work is driven by the notion that diversity, different kinds of knowledge, deep involvement and good dialogue are the needed ingredients to solve the complex challenges facing our societies.