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Seventh meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs

28 - 29 November 2019

Salle XII, Palais des Nations Geneva, Switzerland.

Consultations on development of the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs)

Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs, interested UN Member States, NGOs, public and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate in consultations on the development of the Protocol.

Considering far-reaching impact of the outcomes of the consultations, Parties, in particular, are strongly encouraged to participate in this important exercise.

Please provide your responses before 20 March 2019 to the following email address prtr.survey@un.org

The consultations are organised pursuant to the following request of the Protocol’s Working Group of the Parties made at its sixth meeting  (Geneva, 9 November 2018) with a view to preparing for the next session of the Meeting of the Parties:

(a) in consideration of further development of the Protocol, the Bureau was requested to draw up a report with the support of the Compliance Committee:

(i) reviewing the reporting requirements under the Protocol as referred to in Article 6(2) of the Protocol, including possible revisions of Annexes I and II taking into account recent developments in relevant international processes;
(ii) identifying possible gaps and examples of imprecise wording of other provisions of the Protocol, for which Parties face implementation challenges.

(b) to submit this report to the Working Group at its next meeting for consideration and as a basis for discussions on possible revisions of the Protocol.

Pursuant to the above request, the Bureau summarised preliminary issues that could be addressed through the work on development of the Protocol. The Bureau also agreed to hold consultations as to gather possible suggestions from Parties, other interested States and any interested stakeholders. The comments received will be considered by the Bureau for preparing its report to the Working Group for its next meeting (28-29 November 2019).

Documents for comments

Consultations are aimed to gather comments and proposals in relation to the Protocol’s Annexes (see section A below) and on other provisions of the Protocol (see section B below).

The following four  documents are subject to  comments: Table I for Annex I (in excel format); Table II for Annex II (in excel format); Annex III  with the suggested revisions (in word format); and original text of the Protocol without Annexes (in word format).

Consultations on Annexes

Annex I

Table 1 provides information on the list of activities/sectors in other relevant international reporting.

The first sheet of the Table 1 shows complete list of activities (including categories) provided in Annex I of the Protocol and activities provided in other relevant multilateral environmental agreements (Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Minamata Convention on Mercury) and EU Industrial Emissions Directive (IED L334/51; note that 2003 version of IED served as a basis for Annex I of the Protocol).

The second sheet of the Table 1 shows an incomplete list of activities (includes main categories only) provided in Annex I of the Protocol and activities/sectors provided in the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The differences between the main activities/sectors listed in the Annex I of the Protocol and in the two other agreements are highlighted in red. These differences mainly relate to reporting from sectors that would cover diffuse source emissions, such as from transport and agriculture, including releases from products.

Please include your comments in two columns in the table in two sheets highlighted in yellow by (i) marking “Yes/No” for specific activities that should be added and/or (ii) stating if the full list of activities listed in a specific agreement, process or directive should be considered for inclusion in the Annex I of the Protocol.

Please include your comments related to thresholds in the section highlighted in yellow in the third sheet and describe why your suggested revision would be useful or necessary.

Annex II

Table 2 provides information on the list of substances/pollutants in other relevant international reporting.
The table includes substances that are covered under relevant multilateral environmental agreements or other relevant processes or directives (Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its Gothenburg Protocol, Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, IED L334/51 and the EU Water framework directive 2000/60/EC, OECD shortlist (ENV/JM/MONO(2014)32)). It also shows under which agreement, process or directive the specific substance is listed. The table does not include pollutants listed under Annex II of the Protocol.

Please include your comments in two columns in the table highlighted in yellow by (i) marking “Yes/No” for specific substances that should be added and/or (ii) stating if the full list of substances listed in a specific agreement, process or directive should be considered for inclusion in the Annex II of the Protocol.

Please include your comments related to thresholds in the section highlighted in yellow in the third sheet and describe why your suggested revision would be useful or necessary.

Annex III

Please include your suggested revisions on Annex III in the word file in track changes. Please also describe why your suggested revision would be useful or necessary.

Consultations on other Provisions of the Protocol

Please provide any revisions or comments in track-changes or through comments boxes by using the original text of the Protocol. Please also describe why your suggested revisions would be useful or necessary.

Background material for information

- Global Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, Proposal for a Harmonised List of Pollutants (OECD ENV/JM/MONO(2014)32, available form
http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=env/jm/mono(2014)32&doclanguage=en). The document provides more detailed information on the topic, including on the OECD shortlist.

- Global Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, Proposal for a Harmonised List of Reporting Sectors (OECD ENV/JM/MONO(2013)5, available form
http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=env/jm/mono(2013)5&doclanguage=en). The document provides more detailed information on the topic, including on the OECD sector shortlist which uses International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) code to identify common activities/sectors across different PRTR systems and the Protocol.

Overview on Parties and signatories to other relevant international agreements
Background information on Protocol’s reporting requirements: activities, pollutants and related thresholds
Preliminary issues that could be addressed through the work on development of the Protocol
Text of the Protocol on PRTRs in different languages