On 14 and 15 September, Ghent University and the U4 Environmental Law network organize a workshop on 'Governing Facts and Feeling in Environmental Decision-Making: Towards Equal Opportunities in Environmental Governance'. The workshop is carried out in cooperation with the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.
The workshop takes place at the Academy Palace, Hertogstraat/Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels.
In this event, the U4 Environmental Law Network brings forward the tension perceivable in the field between the need to engage all parts of society in environmental governance and the need of professional expertise to deal with a complex matter such as the environment.
For the decision-making process in International, European and national environmental legislation, technical and scientific information are required. Furthermore, decision-making must take account of the opinions and feeling of the public. Not only can general public opinion deviate from scientific knowledge: scientific knowledge itself can be lacunose or contradicting. Public officials, including judges, are thus confronted with the challenge of having to govern facts and feelings in environmental decision-making.
This event looks at how this challenge can be met, while striving to ensure that each societal group is treated equally. Hence, how to ensure that environmental decision-making is based on state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, while being accessible to anybody, regardless of the level of education,
income and/or nationality?
After a general introduction by Luc Lavrysen (Ghent University), three multidisciplinary workshops, will launch a discussion on how to answer these vital questions.