Becoming party to an international treaty, convention, agreement or protocol places states under a set of legally binding commitments. These commitments often include
regular reporting on implementation to the relevant secretariats. However, such international instruments frequently touch on overlapping areas. This demands careful coordination in implementation. It also opens up the possibility of combining evaluation and reporting for several agreements, saving time andresources as well as providing additional insights into the overall coherence and effectiveness of implementation.

In 2011 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Environmental Law and Conventions commissioned
SEI’s Tallinn Centre to develop a methodology that could be used to review coherence and effectiveness in national implementation
of two clusters of MEAs, one related to biodiversity and the other related to chemicals and waste.

This Discussion Brief outlines the methodology and presents some insights from testing of the methodology in Estonia and Tanzania in 2013-2014, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). It finds that the methodology is relatively easy to apply and yields information that can be valuable both at national level and for monitoring of national performance by the global secretartiats of the individual MEAs. It also provides meaningful results even with relatively scant data, giving countries some flexibility in how much time and resources they invest. If the methodology is widely adopted, it could streamline and considerably reduce the costs of national reporting on individual MEAs – which could in turn encourage more countries to fulfil their reporting obligations.

Download the Discussion Brief (PDF:  650 KB)

Download the methdology (PDF: 251 KB)