Yesterday, the Parliament of Ukraine approved with no objections the law on the ratification of the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), also known as the Kyiv Protocol. Ukraine will become the 34th Party to the Protocol when the law enters into force on the ninetieth day after it deposits its instrument of ratification. This approval demonstrates once again the universal relevance of the Protocol also for countries with economies in transition.
The UNECE Protocol on PRTRs is the first legally binding international instrument on pollutant release and transfer registers. Its objective is to enhance public access to information through the establishment of coherent, nationwide pollutant release and transfer registers. PRTRs are inventories of pollution from industrial sites and other sources. Although regulating information on pollution, rather than pollution directly, the Protocol is expected to exert a significant downward pressure on levels of pollution, as no company will want to be identified among the biggest polluters. The Protocol also supports fact-based decision-making on chemicals and is expected to facilitate the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals related to sound management of chemicals and healthy environment.
By providing access to information on pollutants and hazardous substances, the Protocol strengthens the pillar on access to information of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (in short: Aarhus Convention).
The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers was adopted on 21 May 2003. It became international law binding its Parties on 8 October 2009. It has been ratified by 32 countries and the European Union. All UN Member States can join the Protocol, including those which did not ratify the Aarhus Convention and those which are not members of the Economic Commission for Europe. It is by design an 'open' global treaty.
For further information on the Aarhus Convention, its amendment on genetically modified organisms or the Kyiv Protocol, please visit: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
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