UNECE is leading a large and diverse group of international experts carrying out the 55th Environmental Performance Review (EPR) since the establishment of the UNECE EPR Programme, 25 years ago. Azerbaijan has requested UNECE to review its environmental performance for a third time. To provide the groundwork for the review, a team of UNECE and international experts is participating in a mission to the country from 15 to 23 November 2021.
UNECE EPRs offer a comprehensive tool to help countries identify key environmental challenges and establish concrete recommendations to improve environmental sustainability across all sectors.
The third review of Azerbaijan will assess progress since 2011 on air quality, water management and Caspian Sea protection, biodiversity and protected areas, waste and chemicals management, climate change and greening the economy. It will also examine the country’s environmental data, information and observation systems, risk management of natural and technological or anthropogenic hazards, and the extent to which international environmental agreements and commitments are implemented. Public access to environmental information, participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice on environmental matters will be reviewed, as will the integration of education for sustainable development into the education system’s curriculum, institutions and society. The review will also look at the country’s environmental legal, policy and institutional framework and regulatory and compliance assurance mechanisms. Further, the integration of environmental considerations into agriculture, energy, industry, land management and transport will be reviewed.
In addition, this third review will assess the country’s progress towards relevant targets and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The review team will examine how the SDGs are being adapted to the national context and how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is put into practice, whether the necessary resources have been allocated and responsibilities are clear, what obstacles have been encountered when targeting the Goals and what concrete results have already been achieved.
Building on the analysis of progress made since 2011, including in implementing the 56 recommendations from the Second EPR of the country, the third review will result in a set of recommendations on how to further improve Azerbaijan’s environmental performance. The review process will culminate with the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy considering the recommendations, with a view to their adoption, and the country making a commitment to implement them within the next few years. Before the Committee meets, a group of experts from UNECE countries together with a delegation from Azerbaijan will scrutinize the review and finalize the recommendations.
The mission currently underway is organized by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in cooperation with other ministries and governmental institutions. During the mission, the international team of experts led by UNECE will meet with governmental officials, national experts, representatives of academia, business and civil society organizations. The third review of Azerbaijan is made possible with financial and in-kind support from Austria, Germany (German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the German Federal Environment Agency, with funds provided through the Advisory Assistance Programme), Italy, Portugal and Switzerland.
The Second EPR of the country is available at: https://unece.org/info/Environment-Policy/Environmental-Performance-Reviews/pub/2160.
For more information about the UNECE’s Environmental Performance Reviews, please visit http://www.unece.org/env/epr.