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International conferences on Environment and their Outcomes

BY: Devanshu 36 Dion 37 Eric 38 Esha 39 Garima 40

Environmental organizations can be global, regional, national or local; they can be government-run or private. Environmentalist activity exists in almost every country. Moreover, groups dedicated to community development and social justice also focus on environmental concerns.

On an international level, concern for the environment was the subject of a United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, attended by 114 nations. Out of this meeting developed UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the followup United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Other international organizations in support of environmental policies development include the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (as part of NAFTA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment

From June 5 to June 16, 1972 UNs first major conference on environmental issues and marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics. Attended by the representatives of 114 countries, 19 inter-governmental agencies, and more than 400 inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, it is widely recognized as the beginning of modern political and public awareness of global environmental problems. Led to the formulation of the Stockholm declaration

General Framework of The Conference

Problems and management of human settlements. Natural resources management Pollution control measures Social and cultural aspects Development and Environment

Declaration of The Conference

Man is both the creator and moulder of his environment, which helps him grow. The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the well being of people and economic development throughout the world. Man has the ability to transform his surroundings. In developing countries, most environmental issues arise due to underdevelopment.

Growth of population presents problems on the preservation of the environment, measures to be adopted to face this problem. A point ha been reached, when we must shape our actions with a prudent care for environmental consequences. The conference calls upon Governments and people to exert common efforts for the preservation of the human environment.

Principles and Recommendations


3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Right to protect the Environment Management of natural resources. Conservation of wildlife. Population policy Environment and development Pollution control Resource planning Ban on nuclear weapons


Also known as World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) Mission is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together The Chairman of the Commission, Gro Harlem Brundtland, was appointed by Javier Perez de Cuellar, former Secretary General of the United Nations, in December 1983


Mansour Khalid as Vice-Chairman. The organization aims to create a united international community with shared sustainability goals by identifying sustainability problems worldwide, raising awareness about them, and suggesting the implementation of solutions. In 1987, the Brundtland Commission published the first volume of Our Common Future, the organizations main report. Our Common Future strongly influenced the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro,

Focus was on..

To propose long-term environmental strategies for achieving sustainable development to the year 2000 and beyond; To recommend ways in which concern for the environment may be translated into greater cooperation among developing countries and between countries at different stages of economic and social development and lead to the achievement of common and mutually supportive objectives which take account of the interrelationships between people, resources, environment and development;

To help to define shared perceptions of long-term environmental issues and of the appropriate efforts needed to deal successfully with the problems of protecting and enhancing the environment, To consider ways and means by which the international community can deal more effectively with environmental concerns, in the light of the other recommendations in its report

Brundtland Commission pushed for the idea that while the "environment" was previously perceived as a sphere separate from human emotion or action, While "development" was a term habitually used to describe political goals or economic progress, It is more comprehensive to understand the two terms in relation to each other

Brundtland argues: "...the "environment" is where we live; and "development" is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode. The two are inseparable. The Brundtland Commission insists upon the environment being something beyond physicality, going beyond that traditional school of thought to include social and political atmospheres and circumstances. It also insists that development is not just about how poor countries can ameliorate their situation, but what the entire world, including developed countries, can do to ameliorate our communal situation.

The concept of "needs" in particular the essential needs of the world's poorest people, to which they should be given overriding priority; the idea of limitations which is imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet both present and future needs.

Central idea of the Brundtland Commission's definition of "sustainable development" is that of intergenerational equity. In sum, the "needs" are basic and essential, economic growth will facilitate their fulfillment, and that equity is encouraged by citizen participation. Therefore, another characteristic that really sets this definition apart from others is in the element of humanity that the Brundtland Commission integrates.

Crux of the Report

Economic Growth : dont exploit the resources Ways to grow economically without hurting the environment Environmental Protection : Investment in green technologies, Renewable energies

Social Equality: Meet the needs of the all The rising income gap should be curtailed The Brundtland Commission has made an impact in helping to reduce the number of people living on less than a dollar a day to just half of what it used to be, but this can also be attributed to growth in China and India.

The Rio Declaration

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

Often shortened to Rio Declaration Produced at the 1992 United Nations "Conference on Environment and Development" (UNCED) Informally known as the Earth Summit 27 Principle intended to guide future sustainable development around the world

Met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992 Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972 Seeking to build upon it


Of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through:

the creation of new levels of co-operation among States, key sectors of societies and people Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and Protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system

Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home

The Principles


Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.

Principle 2

States have the right to exploit their own resources and the responsibility to ensure that activities do not cause damage to the environment of other States

The Principles

Principle 3 The Right to Development Principle 4 Environmental Protection in the Development Process Principle 5 The Eradication of Poverty Principle 7 State cooperation to protect the ecosystem Principle 11 National Legislation Principle 22 Indigenous people have a vital role Principle 26 Resolution of Environmental Disputes Principle 27 Cooperation between the State and People

The Impact

Third Generation Human Rights

Goes beyond Civil and Social rights Affect Soft Law

Rights broadly cover

Group and Collective Rights Right to Economic and Social Development Right to a Healthy Environment Right to Natural Resources Right to Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability

Implementation of Rio Declaration

Principle 2

UNCLOS, part V (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)

States have an obligation under international law

to conserve and utilize their natural resources in a sustainable manner share underutilized resources with neighbouring and less advantaged States to protect their environment and prevent damage to neighbouring environments

This was expressed in the 1995 Agreement on Fish Stocks.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Introduction to CBD
Came into force in December 1993 Can be divided in following 4 parts

Objectives, Principles, Definitions, Jurisdiction Commitments of each party Relationship between parties Mechanism through which convention regime will operate

Main Points to be noted in Preamble

Certain human activities are reducing bio diversity Capacity to conserve diversity should be strengthened Developing countries should be provided with technological support & Financial Resources Co-operation between governments is necessary

Some Conflicts

Financial Resource Allocation

Amount of money given by developed countries Mechanism to control and account for those funds Article 20 tries to resolve this

Access to genetic resources

Article 15 says access to genetic resources depends on permission from national government Not restricted to genes taken before convention is implemented Developing countries consider this unfair

Transfer of Technology
Article 16 mentions about obligation of all parties facilitate transfer of technologies relevant to convention objectives Developing countries were not willing to rely on this to guarantee transfer of technologies which use their genetic resources

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of September 2011, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol.

Parties to UNFCCC are classified as:

Annex I countries: industrialized countries and economies in transition Annex II countries: developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries Non Annex I countries: Developing countries.

Participation in Kyoto Protocol as of December 2011


Commitments for the Annex I Parties: The main feature of the Protocol lies in establishing commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases that are legally binding for Annex I Parties. ( industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2%. ) Implementation: In order to meet the objectives of the Protocol, Annex I Parties are required to prepare policies and measures for the reduction of greenhouse gases in their respective countries. In addition, they are required to increase the absorption of these gases and utilize all mechanisms available, such as joint implementation, the clean development mechanism and emissions trading, in order to be rewarded with credits that would allow more greenhouse gas emissions at home. Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change. Accounting, Reporting and Review in order to ensure the integrity of the Protocol. Compliance: Establishing a Compliance Committee to enforce compliance with the commitments under the Protocol.

Annex I countries which have ratified the Protocol have committed to reduce their emission levels of greenhouse gasses to targets that are mainly set below their 1990 levels. They may do this by allocating reduced annual allowances to the major operators within their borders. These operators can only exceed their allocations if they buy emission allowances, or offset their excesses through a mechanism that is agreed by all the parties to UNFCCC.

Developing countries are not required to reduce emission levels unless developed countries supply enough funding and technology. Setting no immediate restrictions under UNFCCC serves three purposes:

it avoids restrictions on their development, because emissions are strongly linked to industrial capacity they can sell emissions credits to nations whose operators have difficulty meeting their emissions targets they get money and technologies for low-carbon investments from Annex II countries.

Developing countries may volunteer to become

The Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms

The Kyoto Protocol includes three mechanisms that enable a party to increase its initial assigned amount: International emission trading (IET) between Annex I parties (Article 17) involves transfers of assigned amount between Annex I countries. Joint implementation (JI) between Annex I parties (Article 6) involves transfers of emission reduction units created by emission reduction or sequestration actions in one Annex I country with financial assistance from another Annex I country. Clean development mechanism (CDM) (Article 12) involves transfers to Annex I parties of certified emission reduction credits created through emission mitigation projects implemented in developing countries with financial and other assistance from Annex I countries.

Criticism of the Kyoto Protocol

Many see the costs of the Kyoto Protocol as outweighing the benefits, some believing the standards which Kyoto sets to be too optimistic, others seeing a highly inequitable and inefficient agreement which would do little to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Base year as 1990 controversy James Hansen's criticism Green organisations criticism Criticism of Carbon Trade

Top-ten emitters
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

China 17%, 5.8 United States 16%, 24.1 European Union 11%, 10.6 Indonesia 6%, 12.9 India 5%, 2.1 Russia 5%, 14.9 Brazil 4%, 10.0 Japan 3%, 10.6 Canada 2%, 23.2 Mexico 2%, 6.4

U.S. and Canada

US- When George W. Bush was elected US president in 2000, he was asked by US Senator Hagel what his administration's position was on climate change. Bush replied that he took climate change "very seriously," but that he opposed the Kyoto treaty, because "it exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US economy. Canada- The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $14 billion in penalties.

Other main conferences include: Copenhagen Summit (2009) World Climate Change Conference, Moscow (2003) Business for the environment World Future Energy Summit World Ocean Conference

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