Initial Multilateral Environmental Agreements

A number of small environmental treaties were established prior to 1972, mostly dealing with hunting, fishing, and protecting wildlife and fisheries, but over 60% have been signed since the Stockholm Conference and are administered by a United Nations authority [14]. The CITES is one of the first major environmental treaties, which are also referred to as Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). Its purpose is to protect endangered species of plants and animals from over-exploitation so that they are able to survive in the wild. Adopted in 1973

Table 9.1 UN Environmental Programme Milestones (UNEP, 2005a)

1972 — UN Conference on the Human Environment recommends creation of UN Environmental Organization

1972 — UNEP created by UN General Assembly

1973 — Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

1975 — Mediterranean Action Plan first UNEP-brokered Regional Seas Agreement

1979 — Bonn Convention on Migratory Species

1985—Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

1987—MontreaI Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

1988—IntergovernmentaI Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

1989 — BaseI Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes 1992 — UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) publishes

Agenda 21, a blueprint for Sustainable Development 1992 — Convention on Biological Diversity

1995 — GIobaI Programme of Action (GPA) launched to protect marine environment from Iand-based sources of poIIution

1997—Nairobi DecIaration redefines and strengthens UNEP's roIe and mandate

1998—Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent

2000 — Cartagena ProtocoI on Biosafety adopted to address issue of geneticaIIy modified organisms

2000 — MaImo Declaration — first GIobaI MinisteriaI Forum on the Environment caIIs for strengthened internationaI environmentaI governance 2000 — MiIIennium DecIaration — EnvironmentaI SustainabiIity incIuded as one of eight MiIIennium DeveIopment GoaIs

2001—StockhoIm Convention on Persistent Organic PoIIutants (POPs)

2002—WorId Summit on SustainabIe DeveIopment

2004—BaIi Strategic PIan for TechnoIogy Support and Capacity BuiIding

2005—WorId Summit outcome document highIights key roIe of Environment in SustainabIe DeveIopment

Source: From United Nations Environment Programme, Milestones, 2005, http://www. unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID = 287&ArticleID = 3313&l = en and entering into force in 1975, it has 162 parties signed on, or 84% of the world's nations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is governed by the UNEP and the CITES Secretariat, based in Geneva.

The international treaties that have resulted in United Nations tracking and management of resources have long been controversial for United States partisans wishing to protect U.S. "consumer" interests. Payne and Roberts provide an example of casting international governance of seabed mineral rights as a "threat" of wealth redistribution [15]. On the other hand, international treaties can also provide legitimacy for the politically more difficult implementation of rules and enforcement at the national and subnational levels [16].

The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, is widely considered to be one of the most successful MEAs on record. Industrialized countries have been very successful in phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals. In addition, 1987 saw the signing of the Basel Accord, which controls transboundary movement of hazardous waste and prohibits its export from developed to developing countries [17].

Proclamation 4 of the Stockholm Resolution stated that most of the environmental problems in the developing countries were caused by under-development. In the developed countries, the resolution stated that environmental problems were "generally related to industrialization and technological development." This tension between development and environment created a dilemma for both development specialists and environmentalists that eventually led to the effort to synthesize these interests in the Brundtland Commission Report.

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