The collection of high-quality and reliable environmental expenditure data is crucial for policy makers to develop effective environmental policies and for donors and international financing institutions to target their assistance programmes better. This information is also valuable for strengthening public participation in policy decisions in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA).
The methodological framework for the collection and analysis of data on environmental expenditure in EECCA, carried out within the EAP Task Force framework, builds upon the OECD/Eurostat methodology for Pollution Abatement and Control (PAC) Expenditure. This methodology has been applied in several EECCA countries, among which, Armenia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia (Novgorod and Pskov Oblasts). Data collection in these countries revealed important methodological, accounting and definitional differences that often make it difficult to interpret figures, develop continuous time trends and conduct cross-country comparisons. This experience has underlined the need for reform of environmental expenditure data collection systems in EECCA in line with internationally-recognised standards, such as those of OECD and Eurostat.
Georgia, Ukraine and the Kyrgyz Republic benefited from institutional assistance aimed at reforming the system of environmental expenditure data collection system in line with the OECD/Eurostat standards. This work resulted in the introduction of an international state-of-the-art system for regular collection and dissemination of environmental expenditure data in these countries. Unfortunately, once donor support for the projects ceased, the countries disconnected the regular collection of environmental expenditure data.
Nevertheless, the collection and analysis of data on environmental expenditure in the EECCA countries by the Environmental Action Programme (EAP) Task Force delivered a unique and solid information basis for policy analysis and reforms within the “Environment for Europe” process. With the assistance of the EAP Task Force, for the first time, most EECCA countries (except for Belarus and Tajikistan) collected historical environmental expenditure data according to an internationally-recognised methodology and classification.