On 20 May 2016, Malta acceded to the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, becoming the thirty-fifth Party to join this Protocol to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention). UNECE welcomes Malta to the “PRTR family”.
A PRTR is a national environmental database or inventory of potentially hazardous chemical substances released to air, water and soil and transferred off-site for treatment or disposal. A PRTR allows the public authorities to track each release and transfer of a hazardous chemical substance consistently over time. Authorities can then set priorities for reducing or even eliminating the most potentially damaging releases. Therefore, an important objective of the Protocol is to enhance public access to information. By providing access to information on pollutants and hazardous substances, the Protocol strengthens the Aarhus Convention’s pillar on access to information. Moreover, the Protocol supports fact-based decision-making on chemicals. It is therefore also expected to facilitate the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals related to sound management of chemicals and healthy environment.
The UNECE Protocol on PRTRs was adopted on 21 May 2003 in Kyiv and entered into force on 8 October 2009. The Protocol has now been ratified by 34 countries and the European Union. All United Nations Member States can join the Protocol, regardless of whether they have ratified the Aarhus Convention or are members of the Economic Commission for Europe. It is by design an open, global treaty. While there are other initiatives promoting PRTRs, the UNECE Protocol on PRTRs is the only legally binding instrument on these registers to ensure minimum standards for equal rights and transparency in the use of environmental data.
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
Tel: + 41 22 917 2376
E-mail: [email protected]