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Experts Discuss the Enhancement of the UNFCCC Review Process

UNFCCC2 May 2013: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the outcome of the 10th Meeting of Inventory Lead Reviewers on the Options to Improve the Cost-effectiveness, Efficiency and Practicality of the review process (FCCC/SBSTA/2013/INF.2). Participants noted that the implementation of the existing review process of national communications and national greenhouse gases (GHG) inventories is resource intensive, and that the newly-established international assessment and review (IAR) process for developed countries, to be launched in early 2014, will impose a substantial increase of work.

The 10th meeting of the lead reviewers held in Bonn, Germany, from 18-20 March 2013, discussed a variety of options to contribute to the facilitation and enhancement of the review process. Options discussed focused on three areas: streamlining the review process through combining different types of review and modifying their format and frequency; professionalizing the review process; and enhancing training activities with a view to the new IAR process.

On the streamlining of the review process, lead reviewers discussed options to combine reviews of biennial reports and national communications in years when both reports are submitted. However, the lead reviewers recommend that the reviews of biennial reports should not be conducted in conjunction with the GHG inventory reviews, due to different timing and content of the reports.

On options for establishing a standing group of experts and introducing a service fee system in order to professionalize the review process, the lead reviewers concluded that options such as professionalizing the review process by introducing a service fee system and establishing a standing group of experts should be further explored. Additionally, they emphasized the need for enhancing training activities through expanding the current experts' training curriculum to address aspects of the review of national communications and biennial reports. Finally, the lead reviewers recommended that parties update and expand the UNFCCC roster of experts with a view to cover the particular expertise required for the upcoming IAR process.

The meeting was held further to a request by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) for inventory lead reviewers to discuss options to improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and practicality of the review process in 2013. SBSTA had also agreed on the work programme on the revision of the guidelines for the review of biennial reports and national communications, including national inventory reviews, for developed country parties. [Publication: Outcome of the 10th Meeting of Inventory Lead Reviewers]