HAVING REGARD to Article 5 b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

HAVING TAKEN NOTE of the Report on the State of the Environment in OECD Member countries [ENV/Min(79)1];

CONSIDERING the need for better information for the public on the state of the environment;

CONSIDERING the importance of the relationships between pressures induced by human activities and the response of the environment in terms of the state of natural resources and the quality of human life;

CONSIDERING the need for a better knowledge of the state of the environment and its changes over time, for the purpose of a better assessment of the results of past actions and to contribute to the development and harmonization of environmental policies;

CONSIDERING the need for information designed to integrate more fully environmental considerations in decision-making;

CONSIDERING the work of the OECD in the field of development and use of statistics and indicators and particularly the Social Indicators Development Programme;

On the proposal of the Environment Committee;

I.          RECOMMENDS that Member countries:

1.         Reinforce their co-operation within the OECD with a view to improving environmental information and environmental reporting;

2.         Intensify efforts to improve scientific knowledge, information, statistics and indicators on the state of the environment, in order to contribute to the evaluation:

·           of the state of the environment,

·           of activities that have an impact on the environment,

·           and of environmental policies themselves,

with emphasis on important areas in which comparable and practicable indicators can at the present stage be defined;

3.         Prepare periodic national reports on the state of the environment and its changes over time.

II.         INSTRUCTS the Environment Committee:

1.         To promote and facilitate the exchange of experience and information among Member countries concerning the development and use of environmental statistics and indicators, and of reports on the state of the environment in order to support Member countries' activities in this field;

2.         To continue:

·            The efforts to develop comparable environmental indicators and information formats which might be used in the preparation of reports on the state of the environment,

·            And to improve methods for the assessment, on a continuing basis, of environmental changes in important areas (through techniques such as basic monitoring of pollution, remote sensing, ecological mapping, special surveys and inventories),

in order to arrive at a core set of comparable environmental information for OECD Member countries;

3.         To ensure that a periodic report on the state of the environment of OECD Member countries is prepared and issued, to the extent practicable and appropriate, on the basis of national reports on the state of the environment and of a core set of comparable environmental information, and to report to the next Meeting of the Environment Committee at Ministerial level, if such a Meeting is decided by the Council at a later stage;

4.         To carry out these tasks, taking into full account the work of other international organisations, concerning particularly environmental statistics and assessment of the state of the environment;

5.         To report to the Council on the measures taken pursuant to this Recommendation.