The sharing of good practices among Parties and stakeholders is a key factor for good cooperation under the Protocol; it provides very concrete help to Parties for finding ways to effectively and efficiently implement their obligations.
Parties and stakeholders are encouraged to submit good practices to the secretariat. All incoming suggestions will be analysed and made available on the global PRTR portal, PRTR.net. Furthermore, Parties are encouraged to promote their work, including activities that go beyond the Protocol and the use of the recommendations addressed in this document, by making their efforts public and sharing their experience through PRTR.net or the Protocol’s website. The selected good practices are structured according to the seven topic areas set out in sections A to G below.
A. Organization of work at the national level
Good practices regarding the organization of work at the national level include:
- Establishing working groups to deal with the implementation of a PRTR (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Spain);
- Forming a PRTR stakeholder group, which includes representation from all competent authorities, regularly meets to consider all aspects of PRTR data (e.g., trends, issues and improvements) and takes joint steps to secure uniform action (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the EU).
B. Database design
Among good practices regarding the database design are to:
- Use open source software for cost reduction and possible cooperation in the further development of the database software (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Germany);
- Use an integrated reporting form for all environmental data and store the information in a database that is searchable from different points of view and for different reporting obligations (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by the Flemish and Walloon Regions of Belgium). Key aspects related to this practice are:
- To avoid double reporting;
- Have the same source data for all reporting requirements, resulting in the process being transparent (enabling to trace all data), consistent, comparable, reported and backed by the facility operator (Tier 3 detailed information) and verified and validated by the competent authority;
- Provide owners and/or operators and the competent authorities with simplified reporting and easy access through the design of the electronic reporting system (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by Austria, Serbia or Spain);
- Aim for 100 per cent online reporting;
- Provide the possibility to download PRTR search results in file format (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by Spain or Switzerland).
C. Data quality
Selected good practices regarding data quality include:
- Expansion of the E-PRTR cross-pollutant-check tool(e.g., see the NIR submitted by Germany);
- Improvement of applied emission factors, which are used in reporting tools (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Germany).
D. Pollutants, activities and emissions from diffuse sources
Good practices regarding pollutants, activities and emissions from diffuse sources include:
- Making a periodic analysis of reporting to the PRTR system and adjusting practices according to the results, as appropriate, to effectively reflect new developments (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Serbia);
- Including data on diffuse emissions from products, considering the gradual improvement of methodologies for obtaining such data (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Denmark).
E. Website design and improved usability
Good practices for website design and improving the usability of the PRTR are:
- A multilingual design and/or the availability of information in several languages, including English and national language(s) (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by Serbia, Spain or Switzerland);
- To test the website among people outside the organization or agency setting up the PRTR before launching the site. This can provide useful information on how to build a user-friendly website with quick and easy access to emission data (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Norway);
- To provide information on various chemical substances used in production processes and emitted from their use, as well as their possible impacts on human health. This is a relevant tool to inform the public according to its needs and demands (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by Latvia or Spain);
- To supply additional explanations and/or information for the public, e.g., a section of the website with material containing relevant legal and technical references;
- To include tools for data visualization, for example, the possibility to view graphics showing time series data (e.g., see the NIR submitted by Spain);
- To provide more possibilities for searching, consultation, or queries than foreseen in the Protocol (e.g., see the NIRs submitted by France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain or Sweden).