Origins and Objective of the new International Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) Coordinating Group

The overall objective of the new International PRTR Coordinating Group is to improve coordination between international organizations, Governments and other interested parties in their ongoing and planned efforts related to the further development and implementation of PRTR systems. The Coordinating Group serves to promote capacity-building for PRTR systems in developing countries and countries with economies in transition through intergovernmental coordination.

The International PRTR Coordinating Group is a successor body to the Inter-Organizational Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) PRTR Co-ordinating Group, which concluded its activities in June 2005. At the concluding meeting of the IOMC Group, the members agreed to establish a new body to continue to foster interagency dialogue and cooperation.

The International PRTR Coordinating Group further recogized that it might also serve as a reporting mechanism for the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM), in particular to measure progress on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Action Plan and to analyse trends in national implementation of PRTR systems. Regional SAICM meetings could also provide opportunities for the Coordinating Group to provide information on national developments and promote the exchange of good practice.

The Coordinating Group also promotes synergies between multilaterial environmental agreements dealing with pollutants and has contributed information to the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistant Organic Pollutants and the ad hoc open ended working group on mercury.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Canada serve on the Bureau of the International PRTR Coordinating Group. The UNECE Aarhus Convention Secretariat also serves as secretariat.

The next meeting of the International PRTR Coordinating Group will be held at the OECD Conference Centre in Room CC-18, in Paris, on 18 May 2010.

Aarhus Convention, Environment, Housing and Land Management Division, 2007 © United Nations Economic Commission for Europe