Environment ministers and high-level government officials from 56 countries of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region, including Canada and USA, as well as hundreds of representatives of nongovernmental organizations, participated in the Belgrade Conference. The Conference addressed evaluation and implementation of regional environmental agreements, capacity building and partnerships, and the future of the Environment for Europe process, among other topics.
During the Conference, the Aarhus secretariat co-organized two official side events:
UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers: Ready for Take-off (UNECE, co-sponsored by the Government of Switzerland)
Lessons, Experiences and Remaining Challenges in Implementing the Aarhus Convention: Common Approaches and Best Practices
which addressed the experience of implementation of the Convention in Southeast Europe and EECCA countries. The latter event was co-organized by the Regional Environmental Center.
The programme of the Aarhus Convention side event may be accessed online. Click to read the Chairman's introduction and summary and the European Environmental Bureau's intervention.
For more information on the PRTR side event, visit the PRTR Working Group's side event webpage.
The Aarhus Convention secretariat also participated in an interactive broadcast on the relationship between environmental sustainability and information technology (IT): Greening IT: Europe's way to an environmentally sustainable information society.
NGO side events addressing the "Aarhus Convention and public participation in Serbia" and "The Access Initiative: measuring access rights implementation by indicators in Europe" were also held during the Conference.
For details, click here.
The Task Force reviewed the design of a high-level portal on pollutant release and transfer registers provided byEnvironment Canada, among other topics addressing PRTR development.