The region of Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA) faces the challenge of engaging stakeholders to make environment protection a shared responsibility. Requiring industry to monitor its environmental performance and report environmental compliance data to public authorities is one of the approaches that could help countries to achieve this goal, and to promote environmentally-sound behaviour among industrial operators. Reliable self-monitoring is essential to ensure the integrity of data for decision-making. Besides, this policy instrument fosters transparency and public access to environmental information; and it can help demonstrate the existence of an “environmental level playing field” for industry.
This Guide proposes benchmarks that can be used for the long-term development of self-monitoring systems in EECCA, and can be used to improve the reliability of environmental information in EECCA countries thus ensuring the robustness of decision-making. The Guide focuses on general considerations of self-monitoring, and of emissions monitoring; operations and impact monitoring are discussed only in general terms.
While the Guide’s recommendations are based on good international practice, it is important to remember that it is a reference document with a consultative status only. Transposing these recommendations into national law requires careful assessment in terms of feasibility and sequencing of actions.
The Guide complements two other publications of the EAP Task Force: the “Integrated Environmental Permitting Guidelines” and the “Toolkit for Better Environmental Inspectorates”. Also, it may be used in conjunction with the UNECE “Guidelines on Enterprise Monitoring and Reporting in EECCA”. The Guide’s recommendations on policy reform draw on experience gained in Kazakhstan as part of an EAP Task Force demonstration project.