Public participation – How Landvernd safeguards Icelandic nature

Landmannalaugar,vinsæll ferðamannastaður á Fjallabaksleið nyrðri austur af Heklu; í Friðlandi að fjallabaki, hálendi Íslands
Landvernd strives to be an active participant in environmental decision making, strategic planning and education in matters relating to land use, resources and the environment.

Landvernd NGO is active in public participation, Landvernd plays an important role in challenging governmental and other public decisions by legal means, either before specific ruling committees or through courts of law. Landvernd’s representatives also hold seats in public committees, participate in open meetings about various topics and draw attention to environmental issues in the media. Landvernd engages in cooperation with other NGOs and individuals to work with them in this regard

The UNECE Aarhus Convention gives us access to information

The UNECE Aarhus Convention is an international agreement on access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters. Based on the convention Landvernd has played an active role in policy and decision making in environmental issues by publishing dozens of reviews concerning state decisions, municipality planning and constructions made by private entities as well as in the public sector.


Landvernd makes an effort to influence environmental policy and decision making by publishing reviews about draft bills, governmental plans, individual constructions and various decision making and planning strategies regarding the environment.


At the annual general meeting of Landvernd a few resolutions are made, mainly on policy and decision making of the Icelandic government. Between the meetings the board of the Landvernd makes resolutions and news announcements about current affairs in environmental issues.

Administrative appeals

With the implementation of the UNECE Aarhus convention in 2011, environmental associations with more than 30 members got the right to challenge certain decisions, actions and inactions in the public administration. Landvernd has increasingly used these rights to challenge governmental decisions focusing on better decision making in the environmental sector.

Court cases

Landvernd has in the past years tested a number of court cases. Icelandic courts are behind the other Nordic countries regarding environmental organisations‘ access to the court. This is due to the court‘s interpretation of when environmental organisations have a legal interest in court cases.

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