Setting environmental targets with flexibility and knowledge-sharing mechanisms, make sure that the is participatory and inclusive.
There could be binding environmental targets but they should include some degree of flexibility to enable different regions to achieve them through -specific pathways.
Example: Targets for a "desired condition" in the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan
The Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan was designed to address the issue of a worsening condition of water quality in the Mississippi River Basin due to excess of nutrients and the related heavily polluted “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. A desired condition was drawn by the plan’s task force as the objective that the program would pursue. The desired condition was divided along three components, or targets: the reduction in size of the so called “dead zone” in the Gulf; the restoration of a condition that would allow human health and aquatic life along the waters and the land of the area of the river basin and; the improvement of economic conditions and quality of life for the communities settled along the basin. The gap between the current situation and the desired condition provided a foundation to formulate the policy plan of the task force.