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Transcript
Multilateral Environmental
Agreements (MEAs)
Introduction
BACKGROUND
What are MEAs ?
Many global environmental issues don’t stop at the border:
> they are caused by sources thousands of kilometers away;
> they can have a regional or even a global impact.
MEAs are international legal instruments that:
> have a goal of environmental protection (sustainable development);
> take measures to remedy, mitigate or otherwise deal with global
and/or regional environmental concerns;
> are concluded between a large number of states or international
organizations as Parties;
> can be embodied in a single instrument or more related instruments;
> are governed by international law;
> are concluded in written form.
BACKGROUND
Transboundary Problems
• Transboundary environmental problems can
be solved only by multilateral environmental
agreements
Transboundary
Environmental
Issues
Multilateral
Environmental
Agreements
PROBLEM
SOLUTION
• Most UN Agencies work on transboundary
issues using MEAs
BACKGROUND
What are MEAs ?
International legal instruments that:
 have a goal of environmental protection
 are concluded between a large number of
states or international organizations as parties
 concluded in written form
 governed by international law
 can be embodied in a single instrument or in
two or more related instruments (framework
agreements)
BACKGROUND
What are MEAs ?
Example: The “Big Three” MEAs
Climate Change: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Biodiversity:
UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Desertification:
UN Convention to Combat Desertification
Climate Change
Biodiversity
Desertification
BACKGROUND
Milestones in the evolution of MEAs
1972 - Stockholm Conference on the Human Development
> First attempt to address relationship between environment and
development at global level;
> Adopted first global action plan for the environment;
> Established UNEP.
1992 - Rio Conference on Environment and Development
> National and international policies redirected towards integration
of environmental, economic and social objectives;
> 2 main outputs: Rio Declaration and Agenda 21;
> Accelerated the development of modern MEAs: more than 60%
of present MEAs established after 1992.
BACKGROUND
Number of parties to MEAs
Stockholm Conference (1972)
Rio Conference (1992)
BACKGROUND
A Sample of International MEAs
MEA = Multilateral Environmental Agreement
(for example, Kyoto Protocol)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Framework Convention on Climate Change
Convention on Biological Diversity
Convention to Combat Desertification
Montreal Protocol on substances that Deplete the
Ozone Layer
Convention on Wetlands (RAMSAR)
Law of the Sea
Forestry Principles
Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes
Convention on prevention of Marine Dumping
Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution
International Tropical Timber Agreement
BACKGROUND
Core MEAs
•
MEAs of global significance
• negotiation, development or
activities are associated
with UN work
•
•
Shared Goal:
– Sustainable Development
Cross-cutting issue:
– pollution/waste management
MAIN CLUSTERS
Scope of MEAs: 5 topics
BIODIVERSITY
LAND
SEAS
CHEMICALS &
HAZARDOUS
WASTE
ATMOSPHERE
MEA Clusters
Biodiversity
• Consists of MEAs related to protection
and conservation of biodiversity.
• Main MEA - The Biodiversity
Convention
Protection of biodiversity is directly relevant to
pollution management and efficient use of
resources,
and, therefore, to Cleaner Production
BIODIVERSITY
11
MEA Clusters
Atmosphere
MEAs aimed at protection of atmosphere
from pollutants. For example:
•Montreal Protocol on Substances that
Deplete Ozone Layer
•The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change
Implementation of the atmosphere cluster MEAs
requires effective pollution management
SEAS
ATMOSPHERE
12
MEA Clusters
Marine Environment
• Conventions relevant to marine environment:
– 17 Regional Seas Conventions and A number of
Protocols on land-based sources of pollution of
marine environment
– Global Program of Action for the Protection of the
Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities
(GPA)
Most MEAs in the marine cluster are multi-sectoral
agreements based on precautionary and preventive
approaches,
SEAS
13
MEA Clusters
Chemicals and Hazardous Wastes
• Deal with hazardous impacts of
wastes and chemical pollution
• Main treaties of the cluster:
CHEMICALS &
HAZARDOUS
WASTE
– Basel Convention on the Control of
Transboundary Movements of Hazardous
Wastes and Their Disposal
– Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed
Consent for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and
Pesticides in International Trade
– Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic
Pollutants (POPs).
14
MEA Clusters
– set commitments in form of
legally-binding targets and timetables
• Non-binding instruments
– set out important issues and
priorities, foster discussion and
attention, and stimulate new
thinking and development of
legally-binding instruments
Legally Binding
 Treaties
 Conventions
 Agreements
 Protocols
 Accords
 Pacts
Non- Legally Binding
 Resolutions
 Decisions
 Declarations
 Recommendations
SOFT LAW
• Legally-binding agreements
HARD LAW
Key Concepts
15
ORGANISATION
From negotiation to ratification
How are MEA’s developed ?
> A negotiation process between countries involved;
> Often initiated and facilitated/moderated by UNEP;
> Resulting in a mutual agreed and signed protocol during a highlevel tailored conference.
How do MEAs come into force ?
> Initial agreement (international legal instrument) are signed
between the signatories (states);
> MEAs include provision on number of ratification from signatories
needed to come into force;
> Once a country (or “Party”) ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes
an MEA, it is subject to the provisions under the MEA.
ORGANISATION
How do MEAs work ?
IMPLEMENTATION
> Converting international commitments into national measures.
COMPLIANCE
> Countries adhere to the agreement provisions and undertake
implementation measures (e.g. national reporting).
ENFORCEMENT
> Formal (national or international) procedures and actions by
which compliance is compelled or noncompliance deterred.
EFFECTIVENESS
> Whether a MEA resolves a problem that caused its creation.
ORGANISATION
Institutional elements
COP – Conference of Parties
> Decision-making body on implementation and development of MEAs.
Secretariat
> Support to COP (provided by an international organization).
Executive and subsidiary bodies
> Generally advisory in nature, report to COP on scientific, technical,
or financial matters.
Clearinghouses
> Facilitate exchange of information (websites, databases, etc.).
Implementation actors on national level
> Represented by the national authorities and/or institutions,
training and information centers.
IMPLEMENTATION
Strengths & weaknesses of MEA’s
STRENGTHS

> Joint strategy to deal with global issues;
> Clearly defines who should do what;
> Conflict settlement instruments;
> Provides increased attention to preventive - precautionary approach.
WEAKNESSES

> Lack of synergy among MEAs;
> Inadequate funding for many MEAs;
> Lack of performance indicators;
> Inadequate coordination among MEA’s at national level;
> No international enforcement mechanisms in most MEAs.
IMPLEMENTATION
Problems with MEAs
 While MEAs are legally binding, they suffer from
the inability or unwillingness of Parties (or
countries) to implement and enforce them:
lack of financial and human resources
 the sheer volume and complexity of associated
obligations and responsibilities
 inconsistency in implementation regimes between
countries,
 and occasionally a lack of political will.

IMPLEMENTATION
What can Environmental Policy do ?
What are the advantages of cross-cutting capacity building
activities of Environmental Policy initiatives and MEAs ?
> Policy advice;
> Technical and financial assistance;
> Assessment and management of pollution;
> Education and awareness;
> Information exchange;
> Strengthened participation of all stakeholders in the decision-making;
> International partnership.
IMPLEMENTATION
Core question
Most important question to ask about MEAs:
So What ??!