ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

JEFFREY L. ONTANGCO

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the "Earth Summit," was held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 314 June 1992. This global conference, held on the 20th anniversary of the first international Conference on the Human Environment, (Stockholm, 1972), brought together policy makers, diplomats, scientists, media personnel and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives from 179 countries in a massive effort to reconcile the impact of human socio-economic activities on the environment and vice versa. A simultaneous "Global NGO Forum" was also held in Rio de Janeiro, which was attended by an unprecedented number of representatives from NGOs outlining their own vision of the future environmental and socio-economic/developmental state of the world. The 1972 UN Stockholm Conference focused international attention on environmental issues, especially those relating to environmental degradation and "transboundary pollution." The last concept was particularly important, as it highlighted the fact that pollution does not recognize political or geographical boundaries, but affects countries, regions and people beyond its point of origin. Over the decades following Stockholm, this concept was broadened to encompass environmental issues that are truly transnational in scope, requiring concerted action by all countries and all regions of the world in a universal manner in order to deal with them effectively. Such important global environmental problems include, for example, all kinds of pollution, climate change, the depletion of the ozone layer, the use and management of oceans and fresh water resources, excessive deforestation, desertification and land degradation, hazardous waste and depleting biological diversity. In the years that followed, it also came to be recognized that regional or local environmental problems, such as extensive urbanization, deforestation, desertification, and general natural resource scarcity, can spread to pose serious repercussions for broader international security. For example, they undermine the economic base and social fabric of weak and poor countries, generate or exacerbate social tensions and conflicts and stimulate greater flows of refugees. Environmental degradation

in diverse parts of the developing as well as the developed world can in this way affect the political, economic and social interests of the world as a whole. International recognition of the fact that environmental protection and natural resources management must be integrated with socio-economic issues of poverty and underdevelopment culminated in the 1992 Earth Summit. This idea has been captured in the definition of "sustainable development," as defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) in 1987 as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This concept was designed to meet the requirements of both the supporters of economic development as well as of those concerned primarily with environmental conservation. The Earth Summit thus made history by bringing global attention to the understanding, new at the time, that the planet's environmental problems were intimately linked to economic conditions and problems of social justice. It showed that social, environmental and economic needs must be met in balance with each other for sustainable outcomes in the long term. It showed that if people are poor, and national economies are weak, the environment suffers; if the environment is abused and resources are over consumed, people suffer and economies decline. The conference also pointed out that the smallest local actions or decisions, good or bad, have potential worldwide repercussions. The Rio de Janeiro gathering outlined the way that various social, economic and environmental factors are interdependent and change together. It identified the critical elements of change, showing that success in one area requires action in the others in order to continue over time. The Summit's primary aim was to produce an extended agenda and a new plan for international action on environmental and developmental issues that would help guide international cooperation and policy development into the next century. UNCED proclaimed the concept of sustainable development as a workable objective for everyone around the world, whether at the local, national, regional or international level. It recognized that integrating and balancing economic, social and environmental concerns in meeting our needs is vital

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The Statement of Forest Principles: a set of 15 nonlegally binding Principles governing national and international policy-making for the protection and a more sustainable management and use of global forest resources. and living in harmony with nature gives man the best opportunities for the development of his creativity. as well as to failure to establish an 2 . in particular the maintenance of international peace and security. its ultimate objective is the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (man-made) interference with the climate system. how we work. and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. to accord other organisms such recognition. man must be guided by a moral code of action. and. and between governments and their citizens on how to achieve sustainability. A major achievement of UNCED was Agenda 21. It represents a dramatic step forward in the conservation of biological diversity. (b) Civilization is rooted in nature. social and environmental dimensions would require new ways of looking at how we produce and consume. The concept was revolutionary and like all original ideas it started a lively debate among governments.The Framework Convention on Climate Change: A legally-binding agreement. Other UNCED outcomes: . Persuaded that: (a) Lasting benefits from nature depend upon the maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems. Convinced that: (a) Every form of life is unique. technical. which are jeopardized through excessive exploitation and habitat destruction by man. (b) The degradation of natural systems owing to excessive consumption and misuse of natural resources. Aware that: (a) Mankind is a part of nature and life depends on the uninterrupted functioning of natural systems which ensure the supply of energy and nutrients. . must fully recognize the urgency of maintaining the stability and quality of nature and of conserving natural resources. It further recognized that achieving this kind of integration and balance between economic. ONTANGCO to continue human life on the planet. for its goal was nothing less than to make a safe and just world in which all life has dignity and is celebrated. which has shaped human culture and influenced all artistic and scientific achievements. warranting respect regardless of its worth to man. social. and for rest and recreation. and that such an integrated approach is achievable if we put our heads and hands together. and upon the diversity of life forms. and new ways to participate in designing a sustainable economy. and how we make decisions.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. Reaffirming the fundamental purposes of the United Nations. signed by 154 governments at the Summit in Rio. intellectual or humanitarian character. the sustainable use of its components. therefore. World Charter for Nature (1982) The General Assembly. The overall ambition of Agenda 21 was breathtaking.The Rio Declaration: A set of 27 universallyapplicable Principles to help guide international action on the basis of environmental and economic responsibility. These Principles are extremely significant since they represent the first major international consensus on better use and conservation of all kinds of forests. ." . a thorough and broad-ranging programme of actions demanding new ways of investing in our future to reach global sustainable development in the 21st century. how we get along with each other. that has been signed so far by 168 countries. how we live. cultural. (b) Man can alter nature and exhaust natural resources by his action or its consequences and. to new ways to care for natural resources.The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): A legally-binding agreement. the development of friendly relations among nations and the achievement of international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic. Its recommendations ranged from new ways to educate.

FUNCTIONS 6. (b) The productivity of soils shall be maintained or enhanced through measures which safeguard their long-term fertility and the process of organic decomposition. marine and atmospheric resources that are utilized by man. and private and public levels. GENERAL PRINCIPLES 1. In the planning and implementation of social and economic development activities. Nature shall be respected and its essential processes shall not be impaired. whereas the conservation of nature and natural resources contributes to justice and the maintenance of peace and cannot be achieved until mankind learns to live in peace and to forsake war and armaments. In the decision-making process it shall be recognized that man's needs can be met only by ensuring the proper functioning of natural systems and by respecting the principles set forth in the present Charter. shall be subject to these principles of conservation. including water. Reaffirming that man must acquire the knowledge to maintain and enhance his ability to use natural resources in a manner which ensures the preservation of the species and ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations. individual and collective. as well as the land. (d) Non-renewable resources which are consumed as they are used shall be exploited with restraint. 2. Nature shall be secured against degradation caused by warfare or other hostile activities. and the compatibility of their exploitation with the functioning of natural systems. 3 .ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. and to this end necessary habitat shall be safeguarded. The allocation of areas of the earth to various uses shall be planned and due account shall be taken of the physical constraints. but used with a restraint appropriate to the principles set forth in the present Charter. due account shall be taken of the fact that the conservation of nature is an integral part of those activities. must be at least sufficient for their survival. wild and domesticated. and prevent erosion and all other forms of degradation. 10. in accordance with the following rules: (a) Living resources shall not be utilized in excess of their natural capacity for regeneration. the biological productivity and diversity and the natural beauty of the areas concerned. 4. 3. which are not consumed as they are used shall be reused or recycled. their rational possibilities of converting them for consumption. at the national and international. All areas of the earth. Ecosystems and organisms. to protect nature and promote international co-operation in this field. special protection shall be given to unique areas. (c) Competition for scarce resources creates conflicts. to these ends. Firmly convinced of the need for appropriate measures. Natural resources shall not be wasted. population growth and the improvement of standards of living. which proclaims the following principles of conservation by which all human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged. ONTANGCO appropriate economic order among peoples and among States. shall be managed to achieve and maintain optimum sustainable productivity. social and political framework of civilization. 5. 8. to representative samples of all the different types of ecosystems and to the habitat of rare or endangered species. 9. the population levels of all life forms. but not in such a way as to endanger the integrity of those other ecosystems or species with which they coexist. recognizing that this capacity may be enhanced through science and technology. I. both land and sea. (c) Resources. Adopts. In formulating long-term plans for economic development. II. due account shall be taken of the long-term capacity of natural systems to ensure the subsistence and settlement of the populations concerned. The genetic viability on the earth shall not be compromised. taking into account their abundance. the present World Charter for Nature. leads to the breakdown of the economic. 7.

forestry and fisheries practices shall be adapted to the natural characteristics and constraints of given areas. The status of natural processes. ecosystems and species shall be closely monitored to enable early detection of degradation or threat. infestations and diseases shall be specifically directed to the causes of these scourges and shall avoid averse side-effects on nature. other public authorities. groups and corporations shall: (a) Co-operate in the task of conserving nature through common activities and other relevant actions. (c) Activities which may disturb nature shall be preceded by assessment of their consequences. to the extent they are able. 15. Knowledge of nature shall be broadly disseminated by all possible means. ONTANGCO 11. The principles set forth in the present Charter shall be reflected in the law and practice of each State. 20. (d) Agriculture. (b) Establish standards for products and other manufacturing processes that may have adverse effects on nature. 13. all of these elements shall be disclosed to the public by appropriate means in time to permit effective consultation and participation. as well as agreed methodologies for assessing these effects. in particular: (a) Activities which are likely to cause irreversible damage to nature shall be avoided. All planning shall include. Activities which might have an impact on nature shall be controlled. their proponents shall demonstrate that expected benefits outweigh potential damage to nature. (d) Ensure that activities within their jurisdictions or control do not cause damage to the natural systems 4 . ensure timely intervention and facilitate the evaluation of conservation policies and methods. as well as at the international level. programmes and administrative structures necessary to achieve the objective of the conservation of nature shall be provided. and if they are to be undertaken. the establishment of inventories of ecosystems and assessments of the effects on nature of proposed policies and activities. the formulation of strategies for the conservation of nature. (e) Areas degraded by human activities shall be rehabilitated for purposes in accord with their natural potential and compatible with the well-being of affected populations. 17. Funds. international organizations. particularly by ecological education as an integral part of general education.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. and the best available technologies that minimize significant risks to nature or other adverse effects shall be used. (c) Implement the applicable international legal provisions for the conservation of nature and the protection of the environment. grazing. including information exchange and consultations. 21. Military activities damaging to nature shall be avoided. such activities shall be planned and carried out so as to minimize potential adverse effects. individuals. (b) Special precautions shall be taken to prevent discharge of radioactive or toxic wastes. 19. IMPLEMENTATION 14. 12. 18. III. Discharge of pollutants into natural systems shall be avoided and: (a) Where this is not feasible. and where potential adverse effects are not fully understood. the activities should not proceed. using the best practicable means available. (b) Activities which are likely to pose a significant risk to nature shall be preceded by an exhaustive examination. States and. Measures intended to prevent. and environmental impact studies of development projects shall be conducted sufficiently in advance. such pollutants shall be treated at the source. control or limit natural disasters. 16. Constant efforts shall be made to increase knowledge of nature by scientific research and to disseminate such knowledge unimpeded by restrictions of any kind. among its essential elements.

environmental problems are generally related to industrialization and technological development. shall have the opportunity to participate. harmful to the physical. to face these problems. The natural growth of population continuously presents problems for the preservation of the environment. 24. in association with others or through participation in the political process. continuously transform the human environment. create social wealth. the capability of The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. in the man-made environment. through their hard work. deprived of adequate food and clothing. people are the most precious. and adequate policies and measures should be adopted. are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights the right to life itself. inventing. the developing countries must direct their efforts to development. in accordance with their national legislation. 5. which gives him physical sustenance and affords him the opportunity for intellectual. individually or with others. We see around us growing evidence of man-made harm in many regions of the earth: dangerous levels of pollution in water. develop science and technology and. The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the wellbeing of peoples and economic development throughout the world. in the formulation of decisions of direct concern to their environment. each State shall give effect to the provisions of the present Charter through its competent organs and in co-operation with other States. health and sanitation. air. Both aspects of man's environment. particularly in the living and working environment. through the rapid acceleration of science and technology. Of all things in the world. having met at Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972. For the same purpose. In the developing countries most of the environmental problems are caused by underdevelopment. Proclaims that: 1. and gross deficiencies. In the industrialized countries.having considered the need for a common outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the peoples of the world in the preservation and enhancement of the human environment. each person shall strive to ensure that the objectives and requirements of the present Charter are met. Along with social progress and the advance of production. It is the people that propel social progress. social and spiritual growth. acting individually. 22. science and technology. Taking fully into account the sovereignty of States over their natural resources. ONTANGCO located within other States or in the areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. man has acquired the power to transform his environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when. Wrongly or heedlessly applied. the same power can do incalculable harm to human beings and the human environment. In our time. Stockholm Conference Stockholm Conference Environment on the Human 2. man's capability to transform his surroundings. Man has constantly to sum up experience and go on discovering. bearing in mind their priorities and the need to safeguard and improve the environment. 23. creating and advancing. 4. the industrialized countries should make efforts to reduce the gap themselves and the developing countries. as appropriate. moral. and shall have access to means of redress when their environment has suffered damage or degradation. Millions continue to live far below the minimum levels required for a decent human existence.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. Man is both creature and moulder of his environment. destruction and depletion of irreplaceable resources. can bring to all peoples the benefits of development and the opportunity to enhance the quality of life. Each person has a duty to act in accordance with the provisions of the present Charter. earth and living beings. All persons. major and undesirable disturbances to the ecological balance of the biosphere. Therefore. shelter and education. 5 . mental and social health of man. 3. the natural and the man-made. if used wisely. it is the urgent desire of the peoples of the whole world and the duty of all Governments. (e) Safeguard and conserve nature in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Conversely. Individuals in all walks of life as well as organizations in many fields. Through ignorance or indifference we can do massive and irreversible harm to the earthly environment on which our life and well being depend. by their values and the sum of their actions. will shape the world environment of the future. a better environment. States should adopt an integrated and coordinated approach to their development planning so as to ensure that development is compatible with the need to protect and improve environment for the benefit of their population. and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations. Principle 12 Resources should be made available to preserve and improve the environment. we can achieve for ourselves and our posterity a better life in an environment more in keeping with human needs and hopes. ONTANGCO man to improve the environment increases with each passing day. in collaboration with nature. the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies. There are broad vistas for the enhancement of environmental quality and the creation of a good life. The Conference calls upon Governments and peoples to exert common efforts for the preservation and improvement of the human environment. Local and national governments will bear the greatest burden for large-scale environmental policy and action within their jurisdictions. because they are regional or global in extent or because they affect the common international realm. policies promoting or perpetuating apartheid. Principles States the common conviction that: Principle 1 Man has the fundamental right to freedom. upon their request. taking into account the circumstances and particular requirements of developing countries and any costs which may emanate. A growing class of environmental problems. Principle 13 In order to achieve a more rational management of resources and thus to improve the environment. International cooperation is also needed in order to raise resources to support the developing countries in carrying out their responsibilities in this field. and in harmony with. Principle 21 States have. additional international technical and financial assistance for this purpose. through fuller knowledge and wiser action. colonial and other forms of oppression and foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated. equality and adequate conditions of life. racial segregation. in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being. 6. The just struggle of the peoples of ill countries against pollution should be supported. To defend and improve the human environment for present and future generations has become an imperative goal for mankind-a goal to be pursued together with. man must use knowledge to build. will require extensive cooperation among nations and action by international organizations in the common interest. 7. discrimination. For the purpose of attaining freedom in the world of nature. Principle 6 The discharge of toxic substances or of other substances and the release of heat. in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law. What is needed is an enthusiastic but calm state of mind and intense but orderly work. in such quantities or concentrations as to exceed the capacity of the environment to render them harmless. for the benefit of all the people and for their posterity. To achieve this environmental goal will demand the acceptance of responsibility by citizens and communities and by enterprises and institutions at every level.from their incorporating environmental safeguards into their development planning and the need for making available to them. all sharing equitably in common efforts. the established and fundamental goals of peace and of worldwide economic and social development. A point has been reached in history when we must shape our actions throughout the world with a more prudent care for their environmental consequences. and the 6 . must be halted in order to ensure that serious or irreversible damage is not inflicted upon ecosystems.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. In this respect.

In 2009. Cooperation through multilateral or bilateral arrangements or other appropriate means is essential to effectively control. or to standards which will have to be determined nationally. the countries of the world agreed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer under the Convention to advance that goal. Montreal Protocol The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is a landmark international agreement designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The Convention entered into force on 21 March 1994. reduce and eliminate adverse environmental effects resulting from activities conducted in all spheres. The Parties to the Vienna Convention meet once every three years. the Vienna Convention became the first Convention of any kind to achieve universal ratification. and the extent of the applicability of standards which are valid for the most advanced countries but which may be inappropriate and of unwarranted social cost for the developing countries. The objectives of the Convention were for Parties to promote cooperation by means of systematic observations. in such a way that due account is taken of the sovereignty and interests of all States. once emitted to the atmosphere. in order to take decisions designed to administer the Convention. The treaty was originally signed in 1987 and substantially amended in 1990 and 1992. Instead. The Montreal Protocol stipulates that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere--chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). on an equal footing.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. The Vienna Convention was adopted in 1985 and entered into force on 22 Sep 1988. carbon tetrachloride. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change The Convention on Climate Change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. back to back with the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The Convention enjoys near universal membership. big and small. research and information exchange on the effects of human activities on the ozone layer and to adopt legislative or administrative measures against activities likely to have adverse effects on the ozone layer. Principle 23 Without prejudice to such criteria as may be agreed upon by the international community. Principle 22 States shall cooperate to develop further the international law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage caused by activities within the jurisdiction or control of such States to areas beyond their jurisdiction. Latest information on ratifications of the Convention can be found here. ONTANGCO responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. Scientific theory and evidence suggest that. halons. It recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. prevent. because it served as a framework for efforts to protect the globe’s ozone layer. The Vienna Convention did not require countries to take concrete actions to control ozone depleting substances. Principle 24 International matters concerning the protection and improvement of the environment should be handled in a cooperative spirit by all countries. these compounds could significantly deplete the stratospheric ozone layer that shields the planet from damaging UV-B 7 . Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is often called a framework convention. it will be essential in all cases to consider the systems of values prevailing in each country. and methyl chloroform--are to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform).

(CIESIN's Thematic Guide on Ozone Depletion and Global Environmental Change presents an-in-depth look at causes. carbon tetrachloride.” The Kyoto mechanisms Under the Treaty. Japan.S.These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012. the Protocol commits them to do so. Methyl chloroform was also added to the list of controlled ODSs. In addition. The Copenhagen Amendment (1992) significantly accelerated the phaseout of ODSs and incorporated an HCFC phaseout for developed countries. However. and in 2015 for developing countries. who led the U. Numerous reports. Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. the Kyoto Protocol offers them an additional means of meeting their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms. London Amendment Amendment and Copenhagen developed countries. with phaseout in developed countries targeted in 2005. and chronology of policy from the book are available here. countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. and books have been written about the Montreal Protocol. and by 2010 in developing countries. Morrisette (1989) provides a historical analysis of the science and policy evolution that led to the Montreal Protocol in "The Evolution of Policy Responses to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion. in "The Fourth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol" Rowlands (1993) offers a good historical overview and an update through 1992. In addition. The London Amendment (1990) changed the ODS emission schedule by requiring the complete phaseout of CFCs.” The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto. The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions. halons. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions . The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has prepared a Montreal Protocol Handbook that provides additional detail and explanation of the provisions. methyl bromide consumption of methyl bromide was capped at 1991 levels. human and environmental effects.) The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985). on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities. and methyl chloroform were targeted for complete phaseout in 1996 in 8 . The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001. The preface. including the following three frequently cited sources. beginning in 2004. and carbon tetrachloride by 2000 in developed countries. established the framework under which the Montreal Protocol was negotiated. and policy responses to stratospheric ozone depletion. CFCs. which outlines states' responsibilities for protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of ozone depletion. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. and are called the “Marrakesh Accords. introduction." Benedick (1991). offers perhaps the most detailed account of the Montreal Protocol negotiations in Ozone Diplomacy. conclusion. articles. ONTANGCO radiation." Haas (1991) focuses on the politics behind the Montreal Protocol in "Policy Responses to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion. Under this agreement. delegation. The Kyoto mechanisms are: Emissions trading – known as “the carbon market" Clean development mechanism (CDM) Joint implementation (JI). halons.

Widespread information nowadays about the endangered status of many prominent species. countries’actual emissions have to be monitored and precise records have to be kept of the trades carried out. a new international framework needs to have been negotiated and ratified that can deliver the stringent emission reductions the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has clearly indicated are needed.[1] On 22 December 2010. the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. based in Bonn. Germany. Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. international wildlife 9 . The road ahead The Kyoto Protocol is generally seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions. like the Convention. The Fund is financed mainly with a share of proceeds from CDM project activities. But at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed. Monitoring emission targets Under the Protocol. 2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity. A compliance system ensures that Parties are meeting their commitments and helps them to meet their commitments if they have problems doing so. They. its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya. keeps an international transaction log to verify that transactions are consistent with the rules of the Protocol. the UN declared the period from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. might make the need for such a convention seem obvious.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. Annually. Reporting is done by Parties by way of submitting annual emission inventories and national reports under the Protocol at regular intervals. international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new. is also designed to assist countries in adapting to the adverse effects of climate change. With hindsight. the need for CITES is clear. Registry systems track and record transactions by Parties under the mechanisms. The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. Adaptation The Kyoto Protocol. such as the tiger and elephants. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. and provides the essential architecture for any future international agreement on climate change. It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources In other words. Japan. The UN Climate Change Secretariat. followed a recommendation of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. It facilitates the development and deployment of techniques that can help increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. hence. By the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. The Adaptation Fund was established to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. in the 1960s. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. ONTANGCO The mechanisms help stimulate green investment and help Parties meet their emission targets in a costeffective way.

.5 million square kilometers. States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention ('joined' CITES) are known as Parties. The Ramsar Secretariat and Depositary are located in Gland. with now 175 Parties. timber. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party. it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30. on 3 March 1973. Switzerland and work closely with IUCN – The World Conservation Union. covering almost 1. and several important amendments have been passed since it came into force. For many years CITES has been among the conservation agreements with the largest membership. As of December. such as habitat loss.630 wetland sites worldwide. The original of the Convention was deposited with the Depositary Government in the Chinese. brackish. Russian and Spanish languages. 1. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them. ONTANGCO trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. fens. hereafter referred to as the List. This clause allows for the inclusion of many near-shore areas (including some reef systems) that are permanently underwater and thus not wetlands as classically understood. Especially as Waterfowl Habitat. The Preamble also suggests that wetland losses are irreparable because of their economic as well as scientific and recreational values. and marine wetlands (bogs. swamps. United States of America. including flood control. Ramsar had 153 Parties. etc). Parties are instructed to develop national policies to decrease wetland losses and to recognize that migratory waterfowl are important international resources because of their seasonal movements. The overall intent of Ramsar is to enhance national policies and international coordination for the conservation of both wetlands and waterfowl. tourist curios and medicines. The treaty is commonly referred to as Ramsar or the Ramsar Convention. came into force in 1975. The definition of “waterfowl” under Ramsar is also fairly broad. named after the Iranian town in which it was first signed in 1971. is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction. were designated for inclusion onto Ramsar’s List of Wetlands of International Importance. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws.000 species of animals and plants. fur coats or dried herbs. RAMSAR's waterfoul definition can encompass traditional wetland birds such as geese. together with other factors. 2006. each version being equally authentic. Ramsar’s Preamble calls upon its Parties to recognize the interdependence of humans and their environment. CITES was conceived in the spirit of such cooperation. Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. but what can be very important for the conservation of waterfowl. but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future. Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered. Moreover. including food products. the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. wooden musical instruments. exotic leather goods. ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them. and habitat for migratory wildlife and commercially important fish. CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). and on 1 July 1975 CITES entered in force. The trade is diverse. nutrient cycling. The text of the Convention was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington DC. The Articles of Ramsar The Convention is comprised of 12 articles. marshes. Article 1 defines wetlands and waterfowlThe scope of the term “wetlands” in Ramsar is relatively expansive and includes fresh. French.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. It is the oldest of the multilateral international conservation conventions and the only one to deal with one ecosystem type and one taxonomic group. 10 . Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries. and to consider the importance of the many ecological functions of wetlands. CITES is an international agreement to which States (countries) adhere voluntarily. encompassing birds that are dependent on wetlands (as defined above) for at least part of their lifecycle. which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level. Today. English. whether they are traded as live specimens.

collaborative management. the Convention came into force 4 months after the accession of the seventh Party. and not in opposition to. Amendment procedures are described in Article 10 bis. Article 6 establishes a Conference of the Parties to convene periodically for the purposes of discussing Ramsar implementation and changes to listed areas. herons. This is in part testament to the importance of the Convention and in part due to the proliferation of countries in the postcommunist era. Article 4 expands on the concept of national obligations to protect wetlands by encouraging Parties to establish nature reserves at and around important wetland sites within their respective jurisdictions. but. With the inclusion of more Parties. limnological and/or hydrological criteria as outlined in the article. and the Depositary is required (in Article 12) to announce new Parties. etc. to share data and research with other parties. Although the concept of wise use for 11 . and sustainable harvest. Ramsar implementation policies expanded to include concepts such as “wise use” for both conservation and local development. but there are exceptions. which is maintained by IUCN – The World Conservation Union. This expanded definition is meant to facilitate effective conservation for the myriad avian species that may use similar flyways and stopover and staging areas during migrations regardless of taxonomic identity. Article 2 instructs Parties to include at least one site within their jurisdiction on the List of Wetlands of International Importance. but almost twice that many have done so in the last 15 years. Article 3 requires Parties to promote the conservation of listed sites through national policies and to inform the Secretariat of changes in the ecological status of listed sites. ducks. and to register the Convention with the Secretariat of the United Nations. Parties have the right to denounce the Convention 5 years after ratification. botanical. and wetlands are among the most productive natural ecosystems. dates of entry and any notification of denunciation. Any member agency of the United Nations can become a Party to Ramsar. Article 9 stipulates that the Convention remains open for signature indefinitely. and may also include shorebirds. in practice. to provide training for waterfowl research. Many developing countries have since promulgated their own national wetland policies and have thus affected Ramsar in some ways that were not originally intended by the (primarily) western and medium-developed nations that first signed the Convention. small-scale fisheries. Most Ramsar sites are in fact designated as some category of protected area under national law. even if those sites are not listed as Internationally Important. thatch grasses. coots other aquatic and partly aquatic species. This designation is based very broadly on ecological. As stipulated in Article 10. cormorants. Article 7 requires that national representatives to the Conference of the Parties be wetland experts while Article 8 designates the World Conservation Union/IUCN to house the Secretariat for the purposes of maintaining the List of Internationally Important sites and convening conferences. raptors and passerine species such as Marsh Harriers and reed warblers. Under Article 11.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. the movement to protect wetlands for their own sake did not become feasible in many developing countries until there was a concerted and deliberate effort to make conservation programs work in coordination with. As with the worldwide movement to create parks and equivalent reserves since the 1970s. Article 5 instructs the Parties to consult with each other about implementation of the Convention. rails. and their allies are included. Many individuals worldwide are dependent to some degree on subsistence harvesting of important natural products. and to manage habitats to increase waterfowl populations. deposit all ratification or accession documents. and the sustainable harvest of important wetland products such as reeds. as can any country. Ramsar Parties have a good deal of leeway in proposing sites for the List. particularly for transboundary wetlands--an area in which Ramsar has been particularly progressive. zoological. Conferences of the Parties have generally occurred biennially in the 30+ years since Ramsar came into force. It also asks Parties to compensate and mitigate for adverse impacts to listed sites. Many of the policy directives issued by the Conference of Parties since 1990 have been in the spirit of community-based conservation. egrets. Bureaucratic and institutional aspects of Ramsar are considered in the remaining 5 articles. but it also in part due to some changes to Ramsar policies. ONTANGCO swans. Discussion Only about 60 countries became a Party to Ramsar in its first 20 years of existence. locallevel development. grebes.

done at Ramsar on 2nd February 1971 (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"). 2. implementation of the Ramsar’s mandates at the national level often still remains disappointing. Given myriad hydro-periods. but the many small sites along the Mediterranean could also be considered as such because they are stopover areas along the EuropeanAfrican flyway. that these concepts began to become operational within Ramsar. HAVE AGREED as follows: ARTICLE 1 The following Article shall be added between Article 10 and Article 11 of the Convention: "ARTICLE 10 BIS" 1.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. while Greece and Italy have many sites listed. The text of any proposed amendment and the reasons for it shall be communicated to the organization or government performing the continuing bureau duties under the Convention (hereinafter referred to as "the Bureau") and shall promptly be communicated by the Bureau to all Contracting Parties. contributing to efforts to both assess climatic trends and impacts. the Convention was quite progressive at the time it was created in 1971. but they are not listed. which are lacking in much of Europe. it was not until the expansion of many community-based forms of conservation (largely since the 1990s) in many nations. Similar sites also exist in North America. Any comments on the text by the Contracting Parties shall be communicated to the Bureau within three months of the date on which the amendments were communicated to the Contracting 12 . The Parties to Ramsar from almost the outset of the Convention have actively encouraged global change research at listed sites. sites on the List (e. ONTANGCO sustainable development was incorporated early into Ramsar. This has included both the definitions of wetlands and waterfowl as discussed above. but big. The few large North American sites are.g. and in spite of current knowledge of the ecological and economic importance of wetland resources. AWARE that the addition of authentic language versions would facilitate wider participation in the Convention. For example. challenges to wetland preservation exist even with a successful and widely accepted Convention such as Ramsar. which makes it difficult to amend the text as may be considered necessary. and the vast array of landscapes under which wetlands can form. perhaps due to the presence of other. under any definition. wetlands can serve as natural barometers of global warming. CONSIDERING furthermore that the text of the Convention does not provide for an amendment procedure. and its national Wetlands Policy in 2003. In spite of all the interest in wetlands and associated fauna and flora. and in the designation of sites within countries. with vast areas and large wetland resources. have relatively few. which has still not been fully passed by the Government. some of which are very small. much larger sites. classified as wetlands of international importance for migratory birds. it is indispensable to increase the number of Contracting Parties. Since many wetland areas are shallow and prone to seasonal drying. As such. Nepal. Protocol to Amend the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat The Contracting Parties CONSIDERING that for the effectiveness of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. 3. Proposals for amendment may be made by any Contracting Party. but this likely also may be attributed to cultural perceptions as well as [ecological reality about what constitutes international importance. The Convention was broadly drafted to be as inclusive as possible. The population densities and historical land uses of course are very different in the former than in the latter. surface versus groundwater connections. Canada and the United States. Everglades National Park). for example (a Party since 1987) drafted its own community-based wetlands conservation principles in 2000. This Convention may be amended at a meeting of the Contracting Parties convened for that purpose in accordance with this Article. both in terms of inadequate national legislation in many cases and the failure to protect wetlands on the ground.

Any State which becomes a Contracting Party to this Protocol without being a Contracting Party to the Convention. C) accession. 4. immediately after the last day for submission of comments. Scientific and Cultural Organization (hereinafter ref erred to as "the Depositary"). or have ratified. approval or accession with the Director-General of the United Nations Educational. followed by ratification. be considered as a Party to the Convention as amended by this Protocol. communicate to the Contracting Parties all comments submitted by that day. of the Convention may become a Contracting Party to this Protocol by: A) signature without reservation as to ratification. or of its ratification. 4. during the period between the date on which this Protocol is opened for signature and its entry into 13 . ARTICLE 4 This Protocol shall be open for signature at Unesco headquarters in Paris from 3 December 1982.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L." ARTICLE 2 In the testimonium following Article 12 of the Convention. paragraph 2.the words "in any case of divergency the English text prevailing" shall be deleted and replaced by the words "all texts being equally authentic". acceptance or approval. acceptance. Any State referred to in Article 9. 3. approval or accession. The Bureau shall. Any State which becomes a Contracting Party to the Convention after the entry into force of this Protocol shall. ARTICLE 3 The revised text of the original French version of the Convention is reproduced in the Annex to this Protocol. shall be considered as a Party to the Convention as amended by this Protocol as of the date of entry into force of this Protocol for that State. the amendment shall enter into force on the first day of the fourth month following the date of the deposit of its instrument of acceptance. 5. B) signature subject to ratification. acceptance. after the date of its entry into force. A meeting of Contracting Parties to consider an amendment communicated in accordance with paragraph 3 shall be convened by the Bureau upon the written request of one third of the Contracting Parties. acceptance. approved or acceded to it. The Bureau shall consult the Parties concerning the time and venue of the meeting. This Protocol shall enter into force the first day of the fourth month following the date on which two thirds of the States which are Contracting Parties to the Convention on the date on which this Protocol is opened for signature have signed it without reservation as to ratification. 6. failing an expression of a different intention at the time of signature or of the deposit of the instrument referred to in Article 9 of the Convention. this Protocol shall enter into force on the date of its signature without reservation as to ratification. 3. acceptance or approval. ONTANGCO Parties by the Bureau. 2. ARTICLE 6 1. ARTICLE 5 1. Amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Parties present and voting. acceptance or approval. approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of ratification. With regard to any State which becomes a Contracting Party to this Protocol in the manner described in paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 5 above. An amendment adopted shall enter into force for the Contracting Parties which have accepted it on the first day of the fourth month following the date on which two thirds of the Contracting Parties have deposited an instrument of acceptance with the Depositary. acceptance or approval. For each Contracting Party which deposits an instrument of acceptance after the date on which two thirds of the Contracting Parties have deposited an instrument of acceptance. accepted. Ratification. acceptance or approval. With regard to any State which becomes a Contracting Party to this Protocol in the manner described in paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 5 above. 2.

D) the date of entry into force of this Protocol.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention. Europe and Oceania. The Depositary shall inform all Contracting Parties of the Convention and all States that have signed and acceded to this Protocol as soon as possible of: A) signatures to this Protocol. The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity to CMS. In this respect. and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions. or approval of this Protocol. The Agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments. 2. Irish and North Seas Seals in the Wadden Sea African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Albatrosses and Petrels Gorillas and their Habitats In addition. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as CMS or Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial. 3. B) deposits of instruments of ratification. acceptance. concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. Click for Map of Parties. CMS acts as a framework Convention. As the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species. aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range. The original of this Protocol. this Protocol shall enter into force on the date determined in paragraph 1 above. Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. C) deposits of instruments of accession to this Protocol. their habitats and migration routes. ONTANGCO force. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals. in the English and French languages. North-East Atlantic. They aim to conserve: Populations of European Bats Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea. the Depositary shall have it registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter. Since the Convention's entry into force. Black Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area Small Cetaceans of the Baltic. such as Memoranda of Understanding. several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) have been concluded to date under the auspices of CMS. CMS complements and co-operates with a number of other international organizations. ARTICLE 7 1. For this reason. NGOs and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector. each version being equally authentic. When this Protocol has entered into force. They aim to conserve : Siberian Crane Slender-billed Curlew Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa 14 . CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species. Central and South America. shall be deposited with the Depositary. Several Agreements have been concluded to date under the auspices of CMS. conserving or restoring the places where they live. Asia. mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. its membership has grown steadily to include 117 (as of 1 June 2012) Parties from Africa. the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional Agreements. The Depositary shall transmit certified copies of each of these versions to all States that have signed this Protocol or deposited instruments of accession to it. It is an intergovernmental treaty.

ONTANGCO Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard Bukhara Deer Aquatic Warbler West-African Populations of the African Elephant Saiga Antelope Cetaceans and their Habitats of the Pacific Island Region Dugongs and their Habitats Eastern Atlantic Populations of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Ruddy-headed Goose (Argentina and Chile) Grassland Birds of Southern South America Birds of Prey of Africa and Eurasia Small Cetaceans and Manatees of West Africa High Andean Flamingoes and their Habitats Sharks Huemuls (Andean Deer) A Secretariat under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides administrative support to the Convention. The primary instrument for the realization of these aims is the International Whaling Commission which was established pursuant to this convention. Its protocol (which represented the first substantial revision of the convention and extended the definition of a "whale-catcher" to include helicopters as well as ships) was signed in Washington on November 19. The objectives of the agreement are the protection of all whale species from overhunting. including by appropriate access to genetic 15 . signed in London on June 8. 1948. 1946[2] and took effect on November 10. the establishment of a system of international regulation for the whale fisheries to ensure proper conservation and development of whale stocks. International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is an international environmental agreement signed in 1946 in order to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry". A Standing Committee provides policy and administrative guidance between the regular meetings of the COP. 1956. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement which aims to ensure the safe handling. A Scientific Council consisting of experts appointed by individual member States and by the COP. The Commission process has also reserved for governments the right to carry out scientific research which involves killing of whales.C. taking also into account risks to human health. The decision-making organ of the Convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP). 1937. D. 1945. The convention is a successor to the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling. It was signed by 15 nations in Washington. gives advice on technical and scientific matters.[1] It governs the commercial. on December 2. It was adopted on 29 January 2000 and entered into force on 11 September 2003. transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity. scientific. and the protocols for that agreement signed in London on June 24. The commission has made many revisions to the schedule that makes up the bulk of the convention. and aboriginal subsistence whaling practices of fifty-nine member nations. The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefitsharing The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement which aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. and November 26. 1938. and safeguarding for future generations the great natural resources represented by whale stocks.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L.

In fact. Since 1977. The London Convention contributes to the international control and prevention of marine pollution by prohibiting the dumping of certain hazardous materials. In addition. represents a major change of approach to the question of how to regulate the use of the sea as a depository for waste materials. which met in London in November 1972 at the invitation of the United Kingdom. ONTANGCO resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. so IMO effectively managed OILPOL from the start. OILPOL 54 prohibited the dumping of oily wastes within a certain distance from land and in 'special areas' where the danger to the environment was especially acute. Japan. The Protocol. and by appropriate funding. the normal practice was simply to wash the tanks out with water and then pump the resulting mixture of oil and water into the sea. contained in an annex to the Protocol. 1972 (known as the London Protocol) which entered into force in 2006. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil The potential for oil to pollute the marine environment was recognised by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil. the amendments phased out the dumping of industrial wastes by 31 December 1995 and banned the incineration at sea of industrial wastes. it prohibits all dumping. Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter The Inter-Governmental Conference on the Convention on the Dumping of Wastes at Sea. one of the first international conventions for the protection of the marine environment from human activities. In 1962 the limits were extended by means of an amendment adopted at a conference organised by IMO. The London Convention. platforms or other man-made structures. adopted this instrument. taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources is one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 1954 (OILPOL 1954). set up a Subcommittee on Oil Pollution. to address oil pollution issues. Rather than stating which materials may not be dumped. "Dumping" has been defined as the deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels. which requires that “appropriate preventative measures are taken when there is reason to believe that wastes or other matter introduced into 16 . Parties adopted a Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. aircraft. it has been administered by IMO. In 1996. as well as the deliberate disposal of these vessels or platforms themselves. In the 1950s. The OILPOL Convention recognised that most oil pollution resulted from routine shipboard operations such as the cleaning of cargo tanks. thereby contributing to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components. came into force on 30 August 1975. IMO in 1965. In addition. The London Protocol stresses the “precautionary approach”. which is meant to eventually replace the 1972 Convention. It was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its tenth meeting on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya. generally known as the London Convention. except for possibly acceptable wastes on the so-called "reverse list". under the auspices of its Maritime Safety committee. the Convention establishing IMO entered into force in 1958 just a few months before the OILPOL convention entered into force. Annexes list wastes which cannot be dumped and others for which a special dumping permit is required. a special permit is required prior to dumping of a number of other identified materials and a general permit for other wastes or matter. The Nagoya Protocol will enter into force 90 days after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification. and the Convention provided for certain functions to be undertaken by IMO when it came into being. Amendments adopted in 1993 (which entered into force in 1994) banned the dumping into sea of lowlevel radioactive wastes. initially through its Maritime Safety Committee. Meanwhile. The Conference adopting the Convention was organised by the United Kingdom government.

and have the potential to cause harm to the marine environment. are effectively controlled and regulated.household waste and incinerator ash. where environmental awareness was much less developed and regulations and enforcement mechanisms were lacking. Fish waste. 8. Awakening environmental awareness and corresponding tightening of environmental regulations in the industrialized world in the 1970s and 1980s had led to increasing public resistance to the disposal of hazardous wastes – in accordance with what became known as the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome – and to an escalation of disposal costs. in principle. Switzerland. as well as two types of wastes defined as “other wastes” . Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel. Objective The overarching objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. such as small islands with isolated communities. Organic material of natural origin 7. where such wastes are generated at locations. The Contracting Parties to the London Convention and Protocol have recently taken steps to mitigate the impacts of increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere (and consequently in the marine environment) and to ensure that new technologies that aim to engineer the climate. bear the cost of pollution" and emphasizes that Contracting Parties should ensure that the Protocol should not simply result in pollution being transferred from one part of the environment to another. Bulky items primarily comprising iron." The permitted substances are: 1. It was against this background that the Basel Convention was negotiated in the late 1980s. CO2 streams from CO2 capture processes. The Convention entered into force in 1992. so far. Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics. in the 1980s. Article 4 states that Contracting Parties "shall prohibit the dumping of any wastes or other matter with the exception of those listed in Annex 1.(added under the amendments adopted in 2006. This in turn led some operators to seek cheap disposal options for hazardous wastes in Eastern Europe and the developing world. concrete and similar unharmful materials for which the concern is physical impact and limited to those circumstances. Vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea 5. Dredged material 2. ONTANGCO the marine environment are likely to cause harm even when there is no conclusive evidence to prove a causal relation between inputs and their effects”. or material resulting from industrial fish processing operations 4. steel. in response to a public outcry following the discovery. It also states that "the polluter should. and its thrust at the time of its adoption was to combat the “toxic trade”. having no practicable access to disposal options other than dumping. been the most advanced international regulatory instruments addressing carbon capture and sequestration in sub-sea geological formations and marine climate engineering such as ocean fertilization. inorganic geological material 6. in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad. as it was termed. The 1996 Protocol restricts all dumping except for a permitted list (which still require permits). which entered into force in 2007).ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. The instruments have. Sewage sludge 3. Inert. Aims and provisions The provisions of the Convention center around the following principal aims: 17 .

prohibited. Following ratification by the Australian Government on 20 May 2004. The regulatory system is the cornerstone of the Basel Convention as originally adopted. the obligations of the Rotterdam Convention entered into force for Australia on 18 August 2004. ONTANGCO the reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes. or cannot be completed as foreseen. The Convention also provides for the establishment of regional or sub-regional centres for training and technology transfers regarding the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes and the minimization of their generation to cater to the specific needs of different regions and subregions (article 14). A number of prohibitions are designed to attain the second aim: hazardous wastes may not be exported to Antarctica. In all cases where transboundary movement is not. i. or to a party having banned the import of hazardous wastes (article 4). wherever the place of disposal. in contravention of the provisions of articles 6 and 7. and disseminates those decisions to Parties. and imposes the duty to ensure safe disposal. without mandating bans or phase-outs of chemicals. They carry out training and capacity building activities in the regions. it requires that. The Rotterdam Convention allows the continuation of trade in chemicals. the Convention attributes responsibility to one or more of the States involved. particularly to developing countries (articles 10 and 13). either by re-import into the State of generation or otherwise (articles 8 and 9). to a State not party to the Basel Convention. by facilitating information exchange about their characteristics. in principle. however. acting as a clearing-house (article 16). The movement may only proceed if and when all States concerned have given their written consent (articles 6 and 7). The Secretariat is required to facilitate and support this cooperation. also commonly known as PIC) entered into force on 24 February 2004. enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements on hazardous waste management with other parties or with non-parties. providing them with detailed information on the intended movement. ranging from exchange of information on issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention to technical assistance. and a regulatory system applying to cases where transboundary movements are permissible. It also provides for importing Parties to receive information on a chemical being exported from a country that has banned or severely restricted it on human health and/or environment grounds.e. Based on the concept of prior informed consent. the restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management. if the principles of environmentally sound management and non-discrimination are observed and if it is carried out in accordance with the Convention’s regulatory system. it may take place only if it represents an environmentally sound solution. The objective of the Convention is to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous pesticide and industrial chemicals to protect human health and the environment from potential harm and to contribute to their environmentally sound use. provided that such agreements are “no less environmentally sound” than the Basel Convention (article 11).ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. In the event of a transboundary movement of hazardous wastes having been carried out illegally. The Basel Convention also provides for cooperation between parties. The first aim is addressed through a number of general provisions requiring States to observe the fundamental principles of environmentally sound waste management (article 4). 18 . The Convention provides for a national decision-making process on the import of these chemicals. Fourteen such centres have been established. the authorities of the State of export notify the authorities of the prospective States of import and transit. Parties may. before an export may take place. The Rotterdam Convention ON THE PRIOR INFORMED CONSENT PROCEDURE FOR CERTAIN HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (referred to as the Rotterdam Convention.

The Convention is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme and is based in Geneva. Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention. no one government acting alone can protect is citizens or its environment from POPs. its specialized agencies. International Atomic Energy Agency and the Global Environment Facility . National and international nongovernmental bodies or agencies qualified in matters covered by the Convention that wish to be acceded to meetings of the Conference of the Parties submit information listed in the attached to the Secretariat for consideration by the Conference at its next ordinary meeting. 2. and the holding of simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel. requires Parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in Bali. Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions are multilateral environmental agreements. Non-Party States may nominate contact points for communications concerning matters pertaining to the Convention. United Nations. birth defects. the international community has worked over the past years on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel. These efforts culminated in the adoption of recommendations on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the three conventions by the three Conferences of the Parties held in 2008 and 2009. The Basel. dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems. 3. which was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. become widely distributed geographically. greater susceptibility to disease and even diminished intelligence. Indonesia in February 2010. Switzerland. accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife. 19 . Under the Stockholm Convention there are four types of observers: 1. Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can lead serious health effects including certain cancers. the Stockholm Convention. regional and global levels. National and international intergovernmental bodies and agencies accredited by the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention. National and international nongovernmental bodies and agencies accredited by the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention. ONTANGCO Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods. Non-Party States may nominate official contact points for administrative and other formal communications using this form and may nominate national focal points for the exchange of information pursuant to Article 9 of the Convention using this form. which share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. Given their long range transport. States not Party to the Convention (“Non-Party States”). and have adverse effects to human health or to the environment. These agreements can assist countries to manage chemicals at different stages of their life-cycle.ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES JEFFREY L. 4. In response to this global problem. Recognizing the potential for synergistic work under the three conventions at the national.

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