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Economic Commission for Europe

Committee on Environmental Policy

Nineteenth session

Geneva, 22–25 October 2013

Item 6 (g) of the provisional agenda

The “Environment for Europe” mid-term review of the Astana
Conference main outcomes: main findings of the review

Information paper No. 13/Rev.2
22 October 2013

Compilation of comments included in the responses to the survey on the promotion of the “Environment for Europe” process and the outcomes of its ministerial conferences

Note by the secretariat

Summary

At its eighteenth session in April 2012 the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Committee on Environmental Policy (CEP) invited the secretariat to organize consultations (in the form of a survey) with ECE member States to collect information on how countries were promoting the objectives and priorities of the “Environment for Europe” (EfE) process and strengthening implementation of the outcomes of the Seventh EfE Ministerial Conference (Astana, 21–23 September 2011), including through national policies and relevant partnerships (ECE/CEP/2012/2, para. 25 (m)). The results of the survey are presented in an official document submitted to CEP (ECE/CEP/2013/21a).

The survey was developed by the secretariat in consultation with the CEP Bureau. Responses were received from representatives of 29 Government organizations and 10 other stakeholders during the period of 3 June–29 July 2013. One more Government sent the response in August 2013. The present document is a compilation of all 938 comments (795 by the 30 Government respondents, and 143 by the 10 non-governmental respondents) that were made by the respondents while answering the survey questions. The comment from UNEP is included separately at the end of the document, as it came in the form of a letter.

All comments are included in the way they were sent by the respondents, i.e. in the original language, without editing, and without correcting typos.

Due to the exceptional length of the document, for the ease of use in electronic format the table of contents with internal links is included below. Comments on the particular questions can be accessed directly from the table of contents by clicking “Ctrl+Click” keys with the cursor over the respective item (in the Microsoft Word format).

Contents

Contents 2

1. Contact information 8

2. Progress in promoting the objectives of the “Environment for
Europe” process 9

2.1. Improve the environment throughout the region, contributing to sustainable development which may in turn contribute to poverty eradication, to improving quality of life and to a safer world 10

2.2. Enhance the implementation of strengthened national environmental policies 11

2.3. Support convergence of environmental policies and approaches, while recognizing the benefits from a diversity of approaches to achieve common goals and the prioritization of environmental objectives 12

2.4. Encourage the participation of civil society 13

2.5. Promote broad horizontal environmental cooperation 14

3. Progress in promoting the political priorities of the “Environment for Europe” process 15

3.1. Improvement of environmental governance, including strengthening environmental institutions and implementation of policy instruments (by your country) 16

3.1.1. Improvement of environmental governance: 16

3.1.2. Strengthening environmental institutions: 16

3.1.3. Implementation of policy instruments: 16

3.2. Streamlining the implementation by your Government of commitments made to existing ECE legally binding and legally non-binding instruments 17

Overall assessment: 17

Convention on Long-range Transboundary
Air Pollution (Air Convention) and its Protocols 18

3.2.1. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 18

3.2.2. Implementation: 18

3.2.3. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 18

Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) 19

3.2.4. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 19

3.2.5. Implementation: 19

Protocol on Water and Health 20

3.2.6. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 20

3.2.7 Implementation: 20

3.2.8. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 20

Convention on the Transboundary Effects
of Industrial Accidents (Industrial Accidents Convention) 21

3.2.9. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 21

3.2.10. Implementation: 21

3.2.11. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 21

Protocol on Civil Liability 22

3.2.12. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 22

3.2.13. Implementation: 22

Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) 23

3.2.14. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 23

3.2.15. Implementation: 23

3.2.16. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 23

Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (Protocol on SEA) 24

3.2.17. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 24

3.2.18. Implementation: 24

3.2.19. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 24

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) 25

3.2.20. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 25

3.2.21. Implementation: 25

3.2.22. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 25

Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (Protocol on PRTRs) 26

3.2.23. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 26

3.2.24. Implementation: 26

3.2.25. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 26

ECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development (Strategy for ESD) 27

3.2.26. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 27

3.2.27. Implementation: 27

3.2.28. Formal reporting (national implementation reports): 27

Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) 28

3.2.29. Status (more than one box can be ticked): 28

3.2.30. Implementation: 28

3.2.31. Reporting (responding to THE PEP survey on progress in the attainment of the Amsterdam Goals): 28

3.3. Enhancing efforts in environmental monitoring 29

Overall assessment in your country: 29

3.3.1. Production of indicator-based state-of-the-environment reports 30

3.3.2. Enterprise environmental monitoring and reporting 31

3.4. Ensuring implementation of the ECE Environmental Performance Review (EPR) Programme 32

Overall assessment of your country’s role: 32

3.4.1. Participation in the EPR process as a reviewed country in the future 33

3.4.2. Participation in the EPR process as a donor country (in-kind and/or providing financial support) 34

3.4.3. Implementation of EPR recommendations by the reviewed country 35

3.5. Raising public awareness on environmental issues 36

Overall assessment in your country: 36

3.5.1. Ensuring public access to environmental information 37

3.5.2. Ensuring public participation in environmental-decision making 38

3.5.3. Ensuring public access to environmental justice 39

3.6. Promoting linkages between environmental policy, economic and social well-being and competitiveness 40

Overall assessment in your country: 40

3.6.1. Mainstreaming the environment into economic development 41

3.6.2. Implementing environmental policies through economic/market instruments (e.g., phasing out subsidies, introducing environmental taxation, payment for ecosystems services, etc.) 42

3.6.3. Implementing environmental policies through regulatory/normative instruments (e.g. norms, standards, bans, etc.) 43

3.6.4. Implementing environmental policies through information based/voluntary instruments (e.g. labelling, etc.) 44

4. Progress in strengthening the implementation of outcomes of the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference 45

4.1. Ratifying and implementing the relevant multilateral environmental agreements (by your country) 46

4.2. Implementing the Astana Water Action (by your country) 47

4.3. Promoting a green economy (by your country) 48

4.4. Promoting the Green Bridge Partnership Programme (by your country) 49

4.5. Ensuring implementation of the third cycle of environmental performance reviews (by your country) 50

4.6. Establishing a regular process of environmental assessment, including developing a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) (by your country) 51

4.7. Participation in the continued work of the Environmental Action Programme Task Force, including on the sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems, and on greening the economy: mainstreaming the environment into economic development (by your country) 52

5. Thematic priorities of the “Environment for Europe” process for the Eighth Ministerial Conference 55

5.1. First thematic priority (an “established” theme of importance to the entire region, e.g., the Astana Conference addressed the “established” theme of sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems) 56

Please propose a theme: 56

Please elaborate (up to 250 words): 56

5.2. Second thematic priority (an “emerging” theme of importance to the entire region, e.g., the Astana Conference addressed the “emerging” theme of greening the economy: mainstreaming the environment into economic development) 57

Please propose a theme: 57

Please elaborate (up to 250 words): 57

5.2.1. Enhancing the work on greening the economy and the mainstreaming of environmental concerns into economic development 58

5.2.2. Promoting sustainable consumption and production 59

5.2.3. “Greening” the policies of the international financial institutions (IFIs) 60

5.2.4. Resilience and change 61

5.3 A high-level segment on assessing the progress in establishing a regular process of environmental assessment and developing the SEIS across the region should be organized 62

5.4 A high-level segment on ECE MEAs should be organized 63

5.4.1. The role of public participation in effective implementation of MEAs 64

5.5. There is a need to develop new structures or frameworks to address emerging themes, such as green economy, given the ongoing economic crisis that affected all countries in the ECE region 65

Greening the economies 66

5.5.1. Elaboration of subregional road maps (e.g. EU, South-Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe) 66

5.5.2. Elaboration/harmonization of regional eco-standards for products and production processes 66

5.5.3. Other (please suggest demand-driven frameworks/structures) 66

Strengthening implementation of ESD 67

5.5.4. Mainstreaming ESD into technical and vocational training to meet future labour market demand 67

5.5.5. Mainstreaming ESD into teachers/educators’ training 67

5.5.6. Implementing an ESD school plan in every school (i.e., addressing campus management, curricula and community interaction) 67

Strengthening environmental considerations in other social and economic sectors 68

5.5.7. Sustainable urban development (e.g., bringing together the relevant activities under THE PEP, the Environment and Health process, and green building) 68

6. Format of the Eighth “Environment for Europe”
Ministerial Conference 69

6.1 Interactive format for the Conference (for a more productive ministerial participation) 70

6.1.1. Parallel thematic round tables 71

6.1.2. Interactive discussions, e.g., similar to “BBC Question Time” 72

6.1.3. … (please propose an interactive format) 72

7. Any other issues you consider important 73

7.1 … (please include any issues relevant to the scope of this survey that you may wish to address) 74

General comments from UNEP 76

COMMENTS

To the questionnaire on the promotion of the “Environment for Europe” process and the outcomes of its ministerial conferences

1. Contact information

Please indicate the name, title, organization and country, as well as the contact data of the person who filled in the survey

First name:

Last name:

Title:

Organization:

Country:

Address:

Telephone:

E-mail:

Website:

Date:

2. Progress in promoting the objectives of the “Environment for
Europe” process



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