The availability of integrated, relevant, timely and easily accessible environmental information and its assessment provides the foundation for meaningful environmental governance. Conversely, a lack of such information, in particular regarding polluters and pollution in specific sectors, presents a major obstacle to defining policies and targets to protect and preserve the environment and to monitoring their efficiency.
To ensure good governance in the environmental sphere, UNECE Programme on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment promotes the establishment of a regular process of environmental assessment, recently underpinned by the development of a shared environmental information system (SEIS), and regular environmental reporting, in countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Programme’s target countries.
The Programme does this, among others, by building the capacities of experts from the target countries in the production of environmental indicators in accordance with internationally recognized standards. This work is currently carried out by the Joint Task Force on Environmental Indicators, a joint body established by the Committee on Environmental Policy and Conference of European Statisticians.
Target countries, as well as other interested stakeholders, can take advantage of UNECE Indicator Guidelines containing description of indicators, calculation matrices for determining indicators and glossaries of terms and references.
The Programme also works to build capacities in collecting the environmental data through monitoring of environmental media and in analysing these data and indicators for the preparation of assessments, which helps in defining new or corrective measures and establishing targets to better protect and preserve the environment. This work is carried out by the Working Group on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
Target countries, as well as other interested stakeholders, can take advantage of variety of UNECE guidelines on how to establish networks and systems for effective monitoring of environmental media and preparations of assessments.