Improvements in the state of the ozone layer, air and water quality,
have mainly been brought about through policy measures that have regulated
products such as lead in petrol, sulphur in liquid fuels or catalytic
converters on cars and controlled release of emissions from power plants,
industry and waste incinerators. In Central and Eastern Europe, economic
restructuring was a major force behind the reductions in emissions that
have been recorded. The loss of biodiversity and habitats has been reduced
by protecting important nature sites.
Much of the environmental progress by 2003 is unlikely to be sustained
with continuing or renewed economic growth, while many of the negative
impacts are likely to be exacerbated. This trend is already apparent
in the transport field. Clearly, the implementation of more integrated
approaches to policy making needs to be accelerated if Europe is to
ensure proper protection of its environment and meet its aspirations
on sectoral integration and sustainable development throughout the region
(EEA 2003c). One aspect of such integration is the need to further streamline
environmental data and reporting across Europe (Box 2).
2: Integration and sustainable development in Europe: monitoring
The search for more integrated approaches to policy-making
directly relates to the need to improve reporting on the
environment and sustainable development. Assessment and
reporting is hindered by the continuing lack of comparable
data and indicators across the whole European region. This
applies for both environmental and socio-economic data.
Recent efforts have been made to streamline monitoring at
EU, pan-European and sectoral levels.
On sectoral integration, the most advanced examples are
related to activities to streamline reporting on transport,
environment and health:
- The European Environment Agency (EEA) (in cooperation
with the European Commission) has developed an indicator-based
reporting system, the Transport and Environment Reporting
Mechanism (TERM), to monitor integration of environmental
concerns into EU transport policies. Since 2002, the 10
EU accession countries have also been included in the assessment.
Eurostat and UNECE are the major providers of the statistics
on which the reports build.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) European Centre for
Environment and Health is implementing an environmental
health indicator system, to facilitate the assessment of
health effects related to environmental conditions. The
system will be recommended for endorsement to the 4th Ministerial
Conference on Environment and Health, in Budapest, in 2004.
The indicators have been developed in collaboration with
EEA to maximize the possibility of data exchange between
the two organizations and member states.
|Source: UNECE 2003g