The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has expanded access to information on multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) through the online portal, InforMEA, which houses information on more than 60 treaties, 10,000 conference of the parties (COP) decisions, 5,000 national reports, 500 national plans, 3,700 national contacts, 3,000 websites and over 500 searchable terms.
In June 2016, in Montreux, Switzerland, InforMEA's partners convened for the annual review of the initiative. The meeting was supported by the European Union (EU) and co-chaired by UNEP and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Participants included representatives of 20 MEAs, as well as four UN organizations.
According to UNEP, InforMEA will be expanded in the coming years to include a comprehensive database of MEA publications, as well as a feature that will make treaty texts easier for third parties to retrieve and use. The database will eventually include images, videos and voice recordings.
Currently, InforMEA includes a feature called LEO (Law and Environment Ontology), which facilitates the search for environmental treaties and documents through a database of key terms, and ensures that environmental terms are accurately described across organizations and institutions. It also has an e-learning tool that offers 21 courses on environmental law.
InforMEA is the result of the MEA-IKM Initiative, a partnership between the MEAs and UNEP's Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) unit. [UNEP Press Release] [InforMEA Website] [InforMEA E-learning Website]