After the Dobris Assessment had drawn a first overall picture of the state of the environment in Europe in 1993, the Environment Ministers decided that countries would be reviewed individually in much more detail. The aim was to examine not only these countries' environmental conditions, but also the strategies, policies and tools that they used to manage the environment. UNECE carries out these reviews in its South-East European, Caucasus and Central Asian member States. The reviews are a useful tool for helping these countries upgrade their environment in line with the pan-European objectives of the ''Environment for Europe'' process.
Environmental performance reviews assess a country's efforts to reduce its overall pollution burden and manage its natural resources; to integrate environmental and socio-economic policies; to strengthen cooperation with the international community; to harmonize environmental conditions and policies throughout Europe and North America; and to contribute to sustainable development in the UNECE region.
The reviews have three main objectives:
- Helping countries in transition to improve their management of the environment by establishing baseline conditions and recommending better policy implementation and performance
- Promoting continuous dialogue between UNECE member countries by sharing information about policies and experiences
- Stimulating greater involvement of the public in environmental discussions and decision-making