Effective public access to environmental information is critical for promoting a green and circular economy, increased biosafety and community resilience. The need to further such access using modern digital technologies has been increasingly voiced across countries in the light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and pressing environmental challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and plastic pollution.
Strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context have an important role to play in helping countries to achieve a sustainable and green post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
On 23 November 2020, Italy became the thirty-eighth Party to the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention).
UNECE’s Committee on Environmental Policy adopted the Recommendations of the Third Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Romania on 10 November 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused wide-ranging effects on human health, security and economic activity, which have significantly impacted industrial safety.
Countries in the pan-European region will continue to benefit from the recommendations of environmental performance reviews (EPRs) beyond 2022, following the adoption of the fourth cycle of EPRs by UNECE’s Committee on Environmental Policy at its 26th session, held on 9 and 10 November.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the extent to which water, sanitation and hygiene are key to human health through frequent handwashing, in the UNECE region over 16 million people still lack access to drinking water and more than 31 million are currently living without basic sanitation.
To avoid damage to the environment, public health and the economy, adopting targets to reduce emissions and introducing measures to enforce them is essential.
Policy solutions to abate air pollutant emissions need to be targeted to the main emission sources in a given country. To know where exactly the emissions are coming from is therefore the first step in designing a viable air quality management system.
UNECE is supporting Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to further enhance strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and transboundary environmental impact assessment (EIA) to prevent and mitigate damage to the environment and health from economic growth.