Public participation in environmental problem solving

What: Training material 

For who: University staff and students, secondary school teachers and students, NGOs, environmental activists, municipal employees, anyone interested

Target group: Adults

Languages: Available in Latvian and English

Made by: University of Latvia

Public participation in environmental problem solving

(Training Module 3, Part 5)

Public participation is part of the Training Module No. 3 on environmental communication. This educational material

  • explains the nature of public participation
  • provides an insight into the different forms of participation and approaches
  • characterizes institutional framework of the participation as well as environmental activism.
The material presents a variety of practical examples to describe public involvement and environmental activism both in Latvia and internationally.

The concept of public participation should be addressed in the direct context of participatory democracy development. Public participation is often accomplished through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Their purpose is to promote civic participation - the individual's involvement in society and public life. Non-governmental sector is the field of public activity, which consists of both formal and non-formal public networks existing outside the public power sector and the business sector.

Evolution of environmental non-governmental organizations can be divided into several stages. The modern environmental movement began in the 60s of the 20th century, and many international environmental organizations were established in the seventies. The material also provides an insight into the development of environmental NGOs in Latvia.


Describing the role of public participation in the context of environmental management, an analysis of organized groups of society – NGOs and interactions with other environmental management target groups is provided.

There are three environmental NGOs functions:

  • The representative function
  • The mediator's function
  • Public participation facilitation.


The material deals with public participation legal framework - internationally and nationally, including national legislation and specific environmental protection legislation, which provides opportunities for public participation.


The institutional framework of public participation is covered too, as well as commonly used forms of participation, their advantages and disadvantages. Material discusses also examples of environmental activism, and presents an insight into NGO’s campaigns.

The materials in Latvian:

TM-3.5 Description (doc) (23.5 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt1 latvian (ppt) (203 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt2 latvian (ppt) (177.5 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt3 latvian (ppt) (177.5 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt4 latvian (ppt) (204 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt5 latvian (ppt) (240.5 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt6 latvian (ppt) (185 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt7 latvian (ppt) (167.5 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt8 latvian (ppt) (186 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt9 latvian (ppt) (480 KB)

TM-3.5 PublPartic Chapt10 latvian (ppt) (168.5 KB)

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