The article aims to present the main legal issues related to implementation of the provisions of Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention regarding public participation in the preparations of plans and programs. The analysis is presented against the background of an overview of the legal nature and scope of obligations stemming from the second pillar of the Convention. The article attempts to identify the scope of application of Article 7 and the main elements of the framework for public participation included therein. The legal analysis is based, where appropriate, on the respective opinions of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee. The implementation of the Aarhus Convention in EU law will be addressed in this respect in a separate article in the forthcoming issue of the journal.