The Third Meeting of Parties to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo, 1991), held on 1-4 June 2004, provided the first opportunity for the Signatories to the new Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to the Convention to meet. The Protocol, signed in May 2003 by 36 States and the European Community, is expected to enter into force within the next two years. The Espoo Convention, which came into force in 1997 and now has 40 Parties, is intended to help make development sustainable by promoting international cooperation in assessing the likely cross-border impact of a proposed activity on the environment before giving it the go-ahead. Practical experience with international public participation is growing and the Convention is increasingly being applied to potential sources of cross-border pollution. Members of the public are informed of a project planned in another country that may have an environmental impact on their own country. They usually receive such information directly or through announcements in local newspapers in their own language. The public can make comments on the project or on the environmental documentation either directly to the developer or during a public hearing. For more information, see http://www.unece.org/env/eia/cavtat.htm.