The Working Group has been supporting the preparation by the European Environment Agency of pan-European environmental assessment reports for Ministerial Conferences “Environment for Europe”.
At its meeting in October 2009, the Committee on Environmental Policy welcomed the proposal of the European Environment Agency (EEA) to assess various environmental assessments of relevance to the region and to present the results of such assessments to the ministers in Astana.
The Committee agreed to establish a Steering Group on Environmental Assessments (SGEA) to guide the preparation by EEA of the 'Europe's Environment Assessment of Assessments' (EEAoA) report for the Astana Conference. Building on lessons learned from the publication of four ad hoc Pan-European environment assessment reports for the previous Ministerial Conferences, the overall goal is to assess the regional needs, priorities and sustainable long-term mechanisms to keep the pan-European environment under continuous review. Concrete proposals to this effect will be submitted to the ministers in Astana, including recommendations on how to develop a shared environmental information system in the region.
The Ministers in Kiev called on EEA to prepare the fourth assessment report for their next Ministerial Conference (October 2007, Belgrade) building on new partnerships, especially with UNECE and UNEP. Accordingly, the Working Group on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment supported EEA in the preparation of the fourth assessment report.
The general aim of the 2007 Belgrade report was the same as for previous reports in this series: to provide a pan-European, policy-relevant, up-to-date and reliable assessment of the interactions between environment and society and of the state of the environment in Europe, Caucasus and central Asia. In November 2006 the Working Group discussed the draft individual chapters of the report.
The Working Group considered also interlinkages with other international environmental assessments and data collection activities of relevance to the Belgrade assessment report, such as the fourth Global Environment Outlook of UNEP and a report on environmental policy in South-Eastern Europe by UNDP.
The report submitted to the Kiev Ministerial Conference in 2003 was the third in a series, the first two of which were published in 1995 and 1998 for the Ministerial Conferences in Sofia and Aarhus respectively.
This third assessment differed in scope from previous reports by taking a more integrated approach both on environmental issues and on the integration of environmental concerns into sectoral policies. It also differed in geographical coverage addressing the Caucasus, Central Asia and the whole of the Russian Federation for the first time. The report was indicator-based.
The Working Group discussed the draft content of the Kiev Assessment, guidelines for data collection, country questionnaires, draft chapters and draft executive summary of the report. Country representatives in the Working Group assisted in data collection for the report.
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