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UNECE Annual Report 2011: The 2010 Application of the AARHUS Convention Regime

Friday, 08 April 2011
In its Annual Report 2011, UNECE, as a Secretariat administering the regime of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (The “Aarhus Convention”), 1998, provides an account of the application of this regime in 2010. Referring to the Aarhus Convention, the Report stresses the continuing focusing of the Convention on “exchange of information, sharing of experience and good practices and capacity-building in the implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention through the activities of the Convention’s task forces and the Aarhus Clearinghouse for Environmental Democracy”. It also refers to the decision of the extraordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties (Geneva, April and June 2010), to strengthen the work on public participation in decision-making and to entrust a newly established Task Force with this
work (the Task on Public Participation in Decision-making ). Importantly, this Meeting also prepared the ground for another far-reaching development: the adoption in 2011 of a procedure to allow accession to the Convention by non-UNECE member States.

With respect to the Convention’s Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), 2003, which entered into force   on 8 0ctober 2009,* the Report highlights the event of the first session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol where its governing architecture, its Work Programme for 2011–2014 and other key decisions were adopted. As the Report the web portal ( is continuing to play an important role in assisting Governments and stakeholders in the development, implementation and improvement of pollutant release and transfer registers in the UNECE region and beyond.


* The Protocol is the first international legal instrument of this kind and its objective is "to enhance public access to information through the establishment of coherent, nationwide pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs)." This Protocol is expected to play a significant role in information on pollution as no company will want to be identifies as among the biggest polluters. The Protocol currently has 38 signatories and 27 parties, including the EU.    

Primary  Source: UNECE- REPORT 2011 (ECE/INF/2011/1) available at:
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