UNEP, INTOSAI-WGEA Sign MOU to Track Progress in MEA Implementation

unep-intosai9 September 2013: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions - Working Group on Environmental Auditing (INTOSAI-WGEA). The MOU aims to track progress in implementing multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) covering climate change, biodiversity and hazardous waste.

According to UNEP, its fifth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) report, released in 2012, assessed 90 of the most critical internationally-agreed environmental goals and objectives, and found significant progress in meeting only four of the goals. UNEP says audits through Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) can provide reliable information about governments' performance in meeting environmental targets, and says elected officials can use this information to identify priority action areas. UNEP notes that environmental audits have been linked to improved surface water quality, protection of flora and fauna, as well as reduced desertification and pollution.

UNEP also highlights that improved environmental auditing can assist in achieving the aims of new multilateral treaties, including the Minimata Convention on Mercury, a treaty aimed at reducing global emissions of the toxic metal.

INTOSAI - WGEA has indicated that the number of environmental audits has grown since UNEP first began working with 112 of its national audit offices six years ago. The partners have indicated that implementation on approximately 280 MEAs could be supported through the agreement. [UNEP Press Release] [Auditing the Implementation of MEAs: A Primer for Auditors][MEA Bulletin Guest Article on the Role of National Audit Offices]