As one of the countries that received support from UNITAR thought the GEF global project on PRTR implementation, Kazakhstan recently joined "officially" the PRTR family at the beginning of the year by ratifying the PRTR Protocol, which is the only legally binding international instrument on PRTRs.
Adopted on 21 May 2003 in Kyiv, it entered into force and became legally binding for its Parties on 8 October 2009. The Protocol has now been ratified by 36 countries and the European Union. All States Members of the United Nations can accede to the Protocol, regardless of whether they have ratified the Aarhus Convention or are members of UNECE. It is, by design, an open, global treaty.
An equally important objective of the Protocol is to enhance public access to information. By providing access to information on pollutants and hazardous substances, the Protocol strengthens the Aarhus Convention’s pillar on access to information.
Accession to the Protocol will help Kazakhstan to establish transparent and effective reporting by industry on pollutant releases and waste transfers and to provide public access to related information. It will also support the Government’s efforts to promote a green and circular economy. In addition, using PRTRs for reporting obligations of other national and international instruments (for example, multilateral environmental agreements) will, in turn, help companies and authorities in Kazakhstan to save resources and avoid duplication of efforts.
Kazakhstan is now expected to elaborate further its national PRTR based on the best available examples of implementation.