1. The Expert Group on Environmental Performance Reviews is mandated until the end of 2026 to support the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Environmental Performance Review Programme in accordance with the terms of reference set out below.
2. The membership of the Expert Group for 2023–2026 shall consist of 10–14 participants, with due consideration given to a balanced geographical representation of the countries of the region. When new members are chosen, due regard shall be given to experts from countries that have recently been reviewed and from countries that have undergone or will soon undergo reviews.
3. Members of and observers to the Committee on Environmental Policy may participate in the meetings of the Expert Group as observers and act as advisers to review a given report and its recommendations.
4. In addition, experts nominated by members of the Committee on Environmental Policy, and agreed by the members of the Expert Group in consultation with the secretariat, may participate in the meetings of the Expert Group on any country under review.
Terms of reference
5. The mandate of the members of the Expert Group is renewed for a period of four years for the purposes of:
(a) Carrying out the expert review process, prior to the peer review to be undertaken by the Committee on Environmental Policy;
(b) Providing guidance to the Committee on Environmental Policy and the ECE secretariat on all substantive and organizational matters arising from the implementation of the ECE Environmental Performance Review Programme;
(c) Assisting the ECE secretariat in coordinating the Environmental Performance Review Programme with processes that have a bearing on it and that are under way in other international institutions, including: the European Environment Agency, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization.
6. The guidance of the Expert Group to the Committee on Environmental Policy and the ECE secretariat may include:
(a) Identification of opportunities and requirements for improving the conduct of reviews, including in response to existing and emerging environmental challenges and global processes such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
(b) Assessment of environmental trends relevant to the environmental performance review process in countries reviewed or under review, including through the organization of joint meetings, seminars and workshops at the regional and subregional levels, where these are demand-driven;
(c) Further activities agreed by the Committee on Environmental Policy to strengthen environmental performance of countries, including at the subregional level, in the framework of the Environmental Performance Review Programme.
7. The members of the Expert Group are nominated by the ECE member States. The secretariat may invite international institutions pursuing related work to participate in the work of the Expert Group.
8. While taking decisions on an environmental performance review report under review and its recommendations, the Expert Group shall take into consideration the inputs by the countries under review, the members of the Committee on Environmental Policy and experts delegated by the Committee who participate in the meeting.
9. The Expert Group shall elect its chair and up to two vice-chairs.
10. The Expert Group shall report annually on its activities to the Committee on Environmental Policy and may raise any issues with the Committee that it deems necessary for the implementation of its mandate.
11. The mandate of the Expert Group shall cover a four-year period, from the beginning of 2023 to the end of 2026.