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UNECE Approves Air Quality Monitoring Guidelines

30 March 2010: The “Weekly” newsletter of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), for the period 29 March-2 April 2010, reports on the meeting of the Extended Bureau of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy, which approved guidelines on air quality monitoring and furthered preparations for the seventh Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe.”

The Extended Bureau, at its 16-17 March 2010 meeting, approved the Guidelines for Developing National Strategies to Use Air Quality Monitoring as an Environmental Policy Tool for the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. One section of the Guidelines focuses on the integration of air quality monitoring, assessment and management with climate change, recommending coordination of the development of air quality assessment and management strategies with the development of climate change mitigation strategies, to make use of the application of the co-benefit approach.

The Extended Bureau further agreed that the Ministerial Conference, scheduled to take place from 21-23 September 2011, in Astana, Kazakhstan, will focus on: sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems; and greening the economy: mainstreaming the environment into economic development. According to the draft conference agenda, the water theme will be approached from the perspectives of sustainable development and climate change. The possible sub-theme on climate change would include: social (health) and economic impacts of climate change; ecosystems, land degradation, floods, desertification, biodiversity; water efficiency/energy efficiency; and transboundary cooperation. Its envisaged outcome is a decision (strategy or action plan) on water and adaptation to climate change 2011-2021. A possible sub-theme for the green economy theme would be energy efficiency. A draft agenda for the Conference will be prepared for consideration and approval by the Committee at its 17th session, to be held in November 2010.

The results of the Extended Bureau's discussion also fed into the first meeting of the UNECE Steering Group on Environmental Assessments, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 25–26 March 2010. The Steering Group is in charge of preparing Europe's Environment Assessment of Assessments for the Ministerial Conference. [UNECE Weekly] [Meeting Website] [Guidelines on Air Quality Monitoring]