1. Article 10 of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) requires the Meeting of the Parties to keep under continuous review the implementation of this Convention on the basis of regular reporting by the Parties. At its fourth session (Chisinau, 29 June-1 July 2011) the Meeting of the Parties adopted decision IV/4 which endorsed the reporting format applicable in the current reporting cycle.
Key features of the reporting regime
2. Reports should be prepared through a transparent and consultative process involving the public in a timely manner.
3. Parties are invited to follow the methodology for the preparation and submission of the national implementation reports set out in the guidance on reporting requirements prepared by the Compliance Committee (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2007/L.4), available online at http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2007/pp/ece_mp_pp_wg_1_2007_L_4_e.pdf
4. Signatories and other States not Parties to the Convention are also invited to submit reports on measures taken to apply the Convention, in accordance with these procedures.
5. A synthesis report for each session of the Meeting of the Parties summarizing the progress made and identifying significant trends, challenges and solutions shall be prepared on the basis of the national implementation reports. Therefore, their timely submission is very important to ensure that there is sufficient time for processing the information and preparing the report in time for the next session of the Meeting of the Parties.
6. In addition, international, regional and non-governmental organizations engaged in programmes or activities providing support to Parties and/or other States in the implementation of the Convention are also invited to provide the secretariat with reports on their programmes or activities and lessons learned.
Preparation of reports for the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties
7. Parties should review their earlier report (submitted in 2011) and submit its updated version (with track changes and clean versions) to the secretariat in accordance with the process described below. Reports from previous reporting cycle are available from www.unece.org/env/pp/reports_implementation_2011.html Parties are requested to prepare their reports within a length limit of 13,000 words, including the section headings drawn from the reporting format, and to allocate a proportionate level of detail to each item. Note that 2014 reporting format has an additional question (XXXVII. Follow-up on issues of compliance) which was not present in previous reporting cycle.
8. The deadline to submit the reports to the secretariat is 30 December 2013 (180 days before the start of the session). However, in order to facilitate the preparation of the synthesis report by the secretariat, Parties are encouraged to submit their reports earlier, i.e. by 1 December 2013.
9. To ensure a meaningful consultation process and timely submission of reports Parties are advised to use the following timeline for the preparation of their reports:
National consultation on the content of the report (first preliminary draft outline)
May - July 2013
Consultation on the draft
September – October 2013
Final report preparation (including translation, where necessary)
National Implementation Reports (NIRs) submission deadline
180 days in advance of the ordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties
30 December 2013
Recommended submission deadline: 1 December 2013
10. The reports should be submitted to the secretariat in one of the official languages of the UNECE (English, French or Russian), as well as in the language(s) of the Party. Parties are strongly encouraged to provide voluntary translations in the other two UNECE languages. Those Parties who do so are invited to provide the translations at the latest one month after the original submission deadline. Reporting format has been prepared in three languages (see three files on top of the web page). Any translations of the reports will be made available online.
11. For the current reporting cycle Parties are requested to upload the final report into the interactive database available on-line. The direct link to the NIR database is (http://apps.unece.org/ehlm/pp/NIR/index.asp). The secretariat will provide the Parties with detailed instructions on how to upload the report in due course. Signatories and other States are also encouraged to use this method of submitting reports. In case of experiencing problems with submitting the report into the on-line database, then the report should be sent to the secretariat by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org as a word-file attachment.
12. In addition, Parties should provide the secretariat: (a) with track-changes electronic version of the report by e-mail to email@example.com and (b) with signed final clean copy of the report by post.
13. The reports prepared by international, regional and non-governmental organizations, will also be made available on line in advance of the meeting in the language in which they are received by the secretariat. Electronic version of these reports should be sent to the secretariat by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org