The Working Group has discussed problems and prospects of environmental monitoring in individual countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The debates focused on a draft strategy for updating and developing the State system of pollution monitoring in Georgia ENG FRE RUS, the development of the national environmental monitoring system in Belarus ENG FRE RUS, a review of environmental monitoring activities in Central Asia ENG FRE RUS, and on approaches to improving environmental monitoring in the Russian Federation ENG FRE RUS 1 RUS 2 and Ukraine ENG FRE RUS.
Air Pollution Monitoring and Emission Inventories
The Working Group organized a Workshop on Interaction between Air-Quality Monitoring and Air-Protection Strategies in Countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia on 11 June 2007 in Geneva.
The reporting process for the pan-European environmental assessment reports identified important gaps across specific monitoring areas. Air pollution is among the areas where there are the biggest gaps in data availability across the subregion of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA).
There is a general lack of environmental monitoring and comparable data and information on water quality and quantity in many countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (across rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters). National surface-water monitoring systems are not coherent, as neither the data reporting systems nor the methodologies are harmonized.
The Working Group, at its first session in 2001, discussed and supported a proposal by the European Topic Centre on Water for the assessment of information and monitoring systems for inland waters in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and the preparation of recommendations to Governments of these countries for improving these systems ENG FRE RUS .
As a follow up and with the support of EU/Tacis funds, a project on the in-depth study of the monitoring situation in the areas of inland surface water in EECCA has been launched under the leadership of the European Topic Centre on Water. Its goals are to:
Enhance co-operation between existing environmental networks in EECCA
Review the inland surface water monitoring activities in EECCA
Make an inventory of existing water databases
Make a comparison of existing monitoring networks with EUROWATERNET criteria
Make a selection of basic stations for a EUROWATERNET in EECCA.
See progress report ENG on the activity.
The quantitative and qualitative data on the generation, use, disposal and environmental effects of wastes are unreliable in many countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and do not meet priority demands. Some important waste streams are not properly monitored. Inventories are lacking in several countries of waste of high potential hazard, which were and continue to be dumped on landfill sites, especially in rural areas. Data quality is often uncertain; data collected is often incomplete; little work has been done to analyze or synthesize data for policy development and assessment through appropriate indicators.
The Working Group, at its second session in 2002, discussed sets of indicators ENG RUS FRE developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to help countries to monitor progress in waste prevention, waste management and material flows, and to provide comparable information at the pan-European level. It recommended Governments of countries that were not covered by EEA networks to consider using these sets of indicators in their national practices.
As a follow up and with the support by the EU/Tacis funds, the Working Group in 2003:
- Reviewed the current situation in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in terms of collecting and handling data on waste and the effectiveness of existing regulations
- Helped these countries to develop draft regulations to support routine data collection and reporting on wastes and the use of indicators on waste and material flows that are compatible with those applied in EEA countries
The work is done on the basis of a case study of three Caucasian countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The first Workshop on Waste Classifications and Inventories took place on 7-8 July 2003 in Tbilisi, Georgia. It discussed situation in the three Caucasian countries with waste classifications and inventories. It identified gaps in data collection on most important waste streams, weaknesses in the regulatory and institutional frameworks, and needs in building national capacities in the area. The workshop participants were informed about approaches applied in EEA member countries to improve waste classification systems, data collection and the use of indicators.
The second Workshop was held on 3-4 October 2003 in Tbilisi, Georgia. It discussed and finalized the review of the current situation with waste classification and inventories systems in the Caucasian countries and recommendations to Governments of the three Caucasian countries and other EECCA countries for improving national waste classification systems, routine waste data collection as well as reporting by the use of indicators on waste and material flows that are compatible with those applied in EEA countries.
Remote sensing can provide complementary information to existing ground-based environmental monitoring systems. Remote sensing can be used to meet the need for timely information and can provide synoptic cross-boundary information. Data and information obtained through Earth observation (EO) can be used within geographic information systems for overlay and comparison with other geo-referenced information.
It considered a proposal by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission ENG FRE RUS and established a Task Force on Remote Sensing. With the support by the EU/Tacis funds, the Task Force will:
- Assess the current use of remote sensing for environmental assessment and monitoring;
- Identify gaps, major obstacles, technical, organisational and institutional problems on the way to broader use of remote sensing for environmental assessment and monitoring in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA);
- Identify and map a key set of indicators, derived from policy needs and availability of remote sensing data, for environmental assessments in selected Eurasian regions (Eastern Europe, Siberia and Central Asia) and marine basins (Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Caspian Sea);
- Develop recommendations on the most cost-effective methods and techniques of remote sensing for the purposes of environmental monitoring and data collection.
The first Workshop on Remote Sensing Application for Environmental Monitoring took place on 19-20 May 2003 at JRC, Ispra, Italy. Representatives from nine EECCA countries together with the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of JRC, UNECE, UNEP, EEA and the regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe participated. The Workshop reviewed the potential of current remote-sensing application potential for environmental assessments at the national, subregional and regional levels as well as current country requirements and capabilities in this field. It agreed to prepare a comprehensive project proposal, possibly to be submitted through the Working Group to the European Unions Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) framework.
The second Workshop on Remote Sensing Application for Environmental Monitoring was held on 3-4 November 2003 in Baku, at the invitation of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan.
Enterprise Monitoring and Reporting
The preparation of pan-European environmental assessments, data collection for country environmental performance reviews and reporting under multilateral environmental agreements reconfirmed that substantial improvements in environmental monitoring and data collection are needed in EECCA especially in such issues as air emissions, water discharges and waste management. Such improvements are difficult to achieve without the commitment and cooperation of enterprises.
Strengthening enterprise environmental monitoring and reporting will improve monitoring of enterprise compliance with environmental regulations. It also will help to improve data collection in order to produce national state-of-the-environment reports and other assessments for decision-making. Furthermore, it will facilitate environmental reporting to the international community. Last but not least, increasing the quantity of environmental information produced by enterprises, improving the quality of this information and enhancing access to it by the general public will help to exert significant pressure on polluters to reduce their adverse environmental impacts.
The Working Group organized a round table on enterprise monitoring and reporting in 2005. It also assessed problems and bottlenecks in the area in EECCA and considered international initiatives to improve enterprise environmental monitoring and reporting. ENG FRE RUS
The Working Group, at its sixth session in 2006, will discuss experiences gained in UNECE subregions in establishing regulations and economic incentives as well as in the application of innovative information tools for database management and online reporting to facilitate environmental data flow from enterprises to environmental authorities for the purpose of national assessments and international reporting. A preliminary exchange of views will also take place on draft guidelines to EECCA authorities on strengthening environmental monitoring and reporting by enterprises. ENG
This followed by a panel discussion at the 6th session.
A Workshop on Enterprise Monitoring and Reporting was organised in Warsaw (Poland) on 4-6 September 2006. It prepared draft guidelines to EECCA authorities on strengthening environmental monitoring and reporting by enterprises.
Trial Compendium of Environmental Indicators 2007
|Consumption of ozone-depleting substances|
|Household water use per capita|
|Re-use of fresh water|
|Water use data||XLS||XLS|
|Passenger transport demand|
|Freight transport demand|
|Final energy consumption|
|Total energy consumption|
|Renewable energy consumption|
|Forest and other wooded land|