International Capacity Building Workshop on Environmental Information Systems
The workshop "Electronic PRTR Systems-Using Open Source for providing Open Data" discussed tools for implementing the international obligation under the PRTR Protocol to establish publicly accessible pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTR). It was hosted in Berlin, Germany by the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and planned and organised by Ecologic Institute.
PRTR is a tool for providing the public with data regarding the amount of chemicals and pollutants released to air, water and soil and transferred off-site for treatment or disposal. The workshop aimed at assisting countries with economies in transition to develop PRTR systems using open source solutions. It was specifically directed at countries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and featured participants from 17 countries, including 9 EECCA countries, and also from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The workshop opened with background information on implementing the PRTR Protocol and the concept of open source, introduced by Representatives from Ecologic Institute, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Germany Federal Environment Agency and one of the Vice chairs of the Bureau of the PRTR Protocol. The second part was on sharing experiences regarding the use of electronic tools and open source in establishing a PRTR. It discussed experiences and lessons learned, in particular in Macedonia and Serbia regarding the adaptation and use of the German open source PRTR reporting software. The third part addressed lessons from developing the PRTR in Germany and overarching perspectives with regard to sustaining the exchange in future.