Conventions and Protocols
UNECE has negotiated five environmental conventions, also known as multilateral environmental agreements or MEAs, all of which are now in force:
- Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
- Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context
- Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes
- Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents
- Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
The governing bodies of the UNECE MEAs are serviced by the UNECE secretariat, which also helps them to monitor the implementation of the treaties. While many of the UNECE environmental conventions started as regional instruments, a number of them have become or are in the process of going global, and the work under these MEAs has for a long time included States outside the UNECE region in their activities. This trend underscores the impact of the UNECE MEAs, which have transformed the legal and natural landscape in our region and beyond.
The five conventions have been supplemented by a number of protocols, including:
- Protocol on Water and Health
- Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment
- Protocol on PRTRs
- Protocol on Civil Liability and Compensation for Damage Caused by the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents on Transboundary Waters (not in force)
The "joint UNECE secretariat" provides the basis for many activities being organized jointly under two or more UNECE treaties. Informal meetings are also held between office holders under the UNECE environmental treaties, as described here.