UNEP organized an expert meeting in October 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya, to roll out, test and validate the "DaRT - Data Reporting Tool for MEAs in order to enhance its functionalities. Government officials from different African countries (Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Rwanda and Tanzania) participated in the meeting.
DaRT intends to create collective national working spaces that will help organize, share and maintain documentation in the context of national reports. The use of the same working space by several reporters is expected to foster communication and cooperation at national levels and to facilitate the reuse of available information. This will ultimately demonstrate the contribution of multilateral environmental agreements towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to Patrick Egloff, Deputy Permanent Representative to UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Swiss Embassy in Kenya, reporting is key to measuring the progress, ownership and the commitments to the multilateral environmental agreements. However, reporting of the implementation and achievement of the multilateral environmental agreements has increasingly become more of a burden to governments. Currently, the multilateral environmental agreements are not synchronized with different reporting cycles, so it is crucial for governments to think of how they make the reporting more efficient and effective together with UNEP, the European Union and the secretariats of multilateral environmental agreements.
While reporting provides a basis for reviewing national implementation, it can be a resource-intensive task and burden for parties. The reporting tool responds to the increasing demand calling for solutions to avoid duplications of efforts in national reporting. The reporting tool has also a potential in integrated reporting not only for biodiversity-related conventions but also for other clusters such as the chemicals and waste clusters, Rio Conventions as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, by reducing duplication of work and facilitating access to management of information,” said Elizabeth Mrema, former Director at UNEP, current Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity.
DaRT is perceived by country representatives as a user-friendly, elegant, simple and cost-effective tool, which has a huge potential to simplify the access to all national information available under different ministries. However, the DaRT and the user-guidance need to be significantly improved in order to fully exploit its potential, including upgraded functionalities and increased interoperability with other tools. Based on these recommendations, as well as on almost 150 additional ones, the DaRT has been updated and been revamped to be the site as displayed today.