ENVIRONMENT CONVENTIONS

 

ENVIRONMENT CONVENTIONS

 

 

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT (1972)

 

  • It marked the emergence of international environmental law.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created as a result of this conference.
  • First conference was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972.
Stockholm Declaration

  • It set out the principles for various international environmental issues, & the relationship between the environment and development.
  • It is also known as ‘The Declaration on the Human Environment’.

 

BRUNDTLAND COMMISSION

 

  • Formerly known as the World Commission on Environment & Development (WCED)
  • Mission: to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together.
  • The Commission was officially dissolved in December 1987 after releasing “Our Common Future”, also known as the Brundtland Report, in October 1987.
  • The document popularized (and defined) the term “Sustainable Development”.

 

RIO EARTH SUMMIT, 1992
  • Also known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992.
  • Earth Summit was held as a platform for Member States to collaborate in conservation efforts.

 

Major Outcomes:

  1. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
  2. Agenda 21
  3. Forest Principles

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (Rio Declaration):

The Rio Declaration consisted of 27 principles intended to guide countries in future sustainable development. It was signed by over 175 countries.

 

AGENDA 21
  • It is a non-binding action plan sourced from Rio Earth Summit, 1992.
  • The number 21 refers to an agenda for the 21st century.
  • Objective: to achieve Global sustainable development.
  • Since 2015, Sustainable Development Goals are included in the Agenda 2030.

 

FOREST PRINCIPLES
  • Also known asRio Forest Principles, 1992.
  • It is a Non-legally binding document on Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forest.

 

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY (GEF)
  • GEF was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle environmental issues.
  • Located in Washington D.C., United States + Parties: 184.
  • The GEF is jointly managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank, & United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • As an independent financial organization, GEF provides grants for projects related to:
  1. Biodiversity,
  2. Climate change,
  3. International waters,
  4. Land degradation,
  5. Ozone layer,
  6. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  7. Mercury
  8. Sustainable Forest management
  9. Food security,
  10. Sustainable cities.
The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following Conventions:

  • Stockholm
  • UN-FCC
  • UN-CBD
  • UN-CCD
  • Montreal Protocol
  • Minamata Convention
  • GEF

 

Note: Although GEF not linked formally to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, it supports implementation of the Protocol in countries with economies in transition.

 

GEF’s SMALL GRANTS PROGRAMME (SGP)
  • It was launched in 1992 with 33 participating countries.
  • It provides financial & technical support to communities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
  • SGP is specifically designed to mobilize community-led bottom-up approach for Sustainable Development.
  • It is currently implemented by UNDP on behalf of GEF.

 

THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC)
  • UNFCC is an international environmental treaty addressing climate change
  • Negotiated & signed at the UN (CED) – Conference on Environment & Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992.
  • Headquartered: Bonn + into force on 21 March 1994 + Parties: 197
  • Objective: To stabilize Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would stop dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
  • Originally it sets no binding limits on GHG emissions for individual countries & contained no enforcement provisions.
  • Kyoto Protocol (1997) was negotiated under this framework.
  • COP is the supreme governing body of the UNFCCC
  • Climate-Tech Centre Network: is the operational arm of UNFCCC. It promotes transfer of tech for low Carbon & Carbon resilient development.

 

KYOTO PROTOCOL
  • Was adopted in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 at CoP3 of UNFCCC + Came into force by Feb-2005
  • Parties: 192 + Andorra, Canada, South Sudan, & the United States are NOT
  • India ratified the protocol in 2002.
  • Protocol aimed to cut emissions of GHGs across the developed world by about 5% by 2012 compared with 1990 levels, in the 1st commitment period, 2008 to 2012.
  • The Kyoto Protocol applies to the 6 GHG listed in Annex A:
  1. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  2. Methane (CH4)
  3. Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  4. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  5. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and
  6. Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6).
  • It is based on the ‘Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’.

 

Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR)

  • CBDR was formalized in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. The CBDR principle is mentioned in UNFCCC.
  • It was the first international legal instrument to address climate change and the most comprehensive international attempt to address negative impacts to global environment.
  • CBDR principle acknowledges all states have shared obligation to address environmental destruction but denies equal responsibility of all states with regard to environmental protection.
  • CBDR is based on relationship between industrialization and climate change.
  • The more industrialized a country is, more likely that it has contributed to climate change.

Classification of Parties:

 

Annex-I countries
  •          List of industrialized countries and economies in transition
  •          Compulsory binding targets to reduce GHG emissions
Annex II
  •         A sub-group of Annex 1,
  •          These countries are required to give financial assistance & technology to Non-annex countries
Non-Annex
  •          Developing countries like India, Brazil, China.
  •         No binding targets to reduce GHG emissions
LDCs
  •          Least-developed countries
  •         No binding targets

 

  • Under Kyoto Protocol, there are two commitment periods:
  1. 2008 – 2012 and
  2. 2013 – 2020 (Doha Amendment to the protocol, 2012)
  • The second commitment period is a failure, due to non-acceptance of required (144) number of parties.

 

KYOTO MECHANISM
  1. Joint Implementation
  2. the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and
  3. Emissions Trading

 

Note: Kyoto Protocol is the only global treaty with binding limits on GHG emissions.

 

 

CoP DESCRIPTION
Bali Summit COP13 Introduction of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA), to engage developing countries in voluntary mitigation effort
Copenhagen Summit COP15
  •          This was the first Climate Agreement which endorsed the 2ºC warming limit as the benchmark for global progress on climate change.
  •          The Copenhagen Accord (2009) abandoned the spirit of the Rio principles & wanted voluntary GHG reduction targets.
  •          However, developing countries revolted & Paris Agreement was born out of Copenhagen and adopted in 2015.
Cancun Summit COP16
  •         Cancun Agreement – all parties to the convention have agreed to report their voluntary mitigation goals for implementation.
  •         Outcome of COP16:

1.       Technology Mechanism

2.       Green Climate Fund

3.       Adaptation Fund

Durban Summit COP17
  •          Second phase of Kyoto Protocol secured
  •          Launching the Green Climate Fund
  •          Adaptation and Transparency mechanism
  •          Review of Adaptation Fund
Doha Summit COP18 Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to start second commitment period (2013-2020)
Warsaw Summit COP19
  •          Two important things emerged:

1.       INDC: Intended Nationally determined Contribution

2.       REDD+: Reduction in Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Lima Summit COP20
  •          Both developed and developing countries pledged for Green Climate Fund
  •          NAPs- National Adaptation Plans Global Network was launched.
  •          India communicated its INDC with UNFCCC.

 

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) are (intended) reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). All countries that signed the UNFCCC were asked to publish their INDCs at the 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Warsaw, Poland, in November 2013. The term was intended as a compromise between “quantified emissions limitation and reduction objective” (QUELROs) and “nationally appropriate mitigation actions” (NAMAs) that the Kyoto Protocol used to describe the different legal obligations of developed and developing countries. Under the Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, the INDC will become the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) when a country ratifies the agreement unless it decides to submit a new NDC at the same time. Once the Paris Agreement is ratified, the NDC will become the first greenhouse gas targets under the UNFCCC that applied equally to both developed and developing countries

 

  •          India’s INDC:

1.       Reduce intensity of GDP emission by 33-35% by 2030 below 2005 level.

2.       Increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40 per cent by 2030.

3.       Total Renewable Energy of 175GW by 2022

4.       Increase additional carbon sink of 2.5 – 3 billion tonnes by 2030

Paris Summit COP21
  •          Legally binding International Treaty on Climate Change.
  •          It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 & entered into force on 4 November 2016.
  •          Goal: to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  •          It requires all parties to put forward their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which is voluntary in nature.

The agreement talks about 20/20/20 targets, i.e.

1.       CO2 emissions reductions by 20%

2.       To increase the Renewable energy market share by 20%

3.       To increase energy efficiency by 20%

  •          USA announced to withdraw from the deal in 2017.
  •         Review mechanism – A review every 5 years – first world review will be done by 2023.
Marrakech Summit COP22
  •         Discussed on how to tackle Global Stock take.
  •         Parties conducted the first review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage
  •          Contentious issues:

1.       “Orphan” issues on establishing common timeframe for NDCs

2.       Whether the Adaptation Fund would continue or not.

Bonn Summit COP23
Katowice Summit COP24
  •          UNFCCC’s COP-24, held in Katowice, Poland.
  •          Outcome: “Katowice Rulebook” to implement Paris Agreement.
  •          Parties’ commitment to NDCs was revised and enhanced
  •         Guidelines for the “global stocktake” pledge-and-review cycle
  •          Developed countries commitment of $100 billion annually from 2020 to fund climate action in developing countries

 

Katowice Rulebook includes:

  •          The steps that each member nation is required to take to fight global climate change
  •          It operationalizes the provisions of the Paris Agreement.
  •          Extends support to developing nations to implement their NDCs.
  •         The Global Stock Take (GST) to assess the effectiveness of climate action in 2023.
  •          To assess progress on the development and transfer of technology
  •          Significance: ensure that each ‘tonne of GHG emissions’ is accounted.
  •          Issues: Failure to agree common rules on carbon markets and emissions trading.
  •         Non agreement on general commitment to limit global warming to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
COP25 Madrid
  •         It was originally planned in Brazil but, took place under the Presidency of Chile & held with logistical support from the Spain.
  •          Adopted the “Chile Madrid Time for Action” document.
  •        Santiago Network was established, as part of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) [on loss & damage], to catalyze the technical assistance needed for most vulnerable countries.
  •          However, No clear timeline was set for nations to enhance their NDCs in 2020.
  •          Discussion and talks on various issues remain unresolved and have been pushed to COP26 (to be held in November 2021 at Glasgow). Discussions were held on the following:
  •          UNEP Annual Report on Emission Gap
  •          Global Carbon Project Report
  •          IPCC special report on Lands, Oceans and the Cryosphere
  •          Reiteration of Paris Rachet Mechanism
  •          Corporate Climate Movement
  •          39 countries committed to include oceans in their NDCs

 

SANTIAGO Call for Action on Forests:

  • Chile as the President of COP 25 of UNFCCC initiated the Santiago Call for Action on forests.
  • It states that forests & trees combined with improved land management could provide up to 30% of GHG mitigation needed by 2030 to limit the global average temperature rise below 20

 

Paris Ratchet Mechanism, also known as the Paris Ambition Mechanism that ensures that member nations reflect and progress their NDCs by raising ambitions to fight climate change over time.

 

GREEN CLIMATE FUND (GCF)
  • It was established under the Cancun Agreement in 2010 by UNFCCC to reduce Green House Gas emission.
  • GCF is the dedicated financing vehicle for developing countries
  • GCF also finances to Paris Agreement.
  • The Fund pays particular attention to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African States.
  • GCF launched its initial resource mobilization in 2014.

 

UN-CONVENTION ON BIODIVERSITY (UNCBD)
  • A legally binding multilateral treaty. Adopted at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, 1992.
  • Came into force in 1993 | ratified by 196 nations | Secretariat at Montreal, Canada.
  • The USA has signed but not ratified the convention
  • It recognized for the first time that conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind.
  • Objectives:
  1. Conservation of biological diversity;
  2. Sustainable use of biological resources ( or its components)
  3. Fair & equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
  • The UN declared 2011 to 2020 as the ‘United Nations Decade on Biodiversity’ in December 2010.
  • India enacted ‘Biological Diversity Act’ in 2002, to give effects to the provisions of the CBD.

 

The Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM)

  • Under CBD, to ensure that all governments have access to the information & technologies they need for their work on biodiversity.
  • CHM serves to:
  1. Promote & facilitate technical and scientific cooperation within & between countries;
  2. Develop a global mechanism for exchange & integration of information on biodiversity;
  3. Develop a Human and Technological network.

 

Protocols Related to CBD:

  1. The Cartagena Protocol on Bio-Safety, 2000
  2. Nagoya Protocol, 2010
  3. Aichi Biodiversity Targets (2011-2020)
  4. Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability & Redress

 

THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIO-SAFETY
  • Signed in 2000 at Montreal as supplementary agreement to CBD. It was originally scheduled for 1999, at Cartagena.
  • Effective since 2003 | as on 173 parties, India ratified it in 2003.
  • Objective: To ensure safe handling, transport and use of Living Modified Organisms (LMO) resulting from modern Biotechnology.
  • Two major components of Cartagena Protocol:
  1. Advanced Informed Agreement (AIA): ensures that the countries are provided with the information necessary to make informed decisions before importing LMOs.
  2. Procedure & Biosafety Clearing House: facilitates the exchange of information on LMOs & to assist countries in the implementation of the Protocol.

 

Note:  Protocol’s AIA procedure does not apply to:

  1. LMOs in transit;
  2. LMOs destined for contained use;

LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed or for processing.

 

NAGOYA PROTOCOL
  • Also known as Biodiversity Accord
  • It’s a Protocol on access to Genetic Resources and the Fair & Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their utilization to CBD.
  • It was adopted in 2010 in Nagoya, Aichi Province, Japan, & entered into force in 2014.
  • The protocol is legally binding & open to only CBD ratified countries (excludes USA, Andorra).
  • It does not apply to Human Genetic Material.
  • Nagoya protocol’s strategic plan with 20 targets is called “Aichi Target”.
  • ‘The Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) Clearing House’ is a key tool which facilitates the smooth implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

 

AICHI BIODIVERSITY TARGETS

 

Strategic Goal A Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Strategic Goal B Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Strategic Goal C To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
Strategic Goal D Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Strategic Goal E Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building

 

THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (UNCCD)
  • Established under the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21 in 1994 + 197 Parties.
  • COP every two year & India hosted the UNCCD’s CoP-14 in 2019.
  • UNCCD is a Convention tocombat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through National Action Programs (NAP).
  • 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts & Desertification”.
  • The new UNCCD Strategic Framework 2018-2030, is a comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) aiming at:
  1. The restoration of productivity of degraded land.
  2. Enhancing the livelihoods of people dependent on them.
  3. Mitigating the impact of droughts on vulnerable populations
  • It collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions: the CBD & the UNFCCC to meet these complex challenges.
  • The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.
  • In India, the MOEF&CC is the nodal Ministry for this Convention.
  • The Holy See is the only state that is not a party to the convention.
  • Note: UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land

 

The 14th Conference of Parties (COP) to UNCCD

  • Place: New Delhi, India.
  • Theme: “Restore land, Sustain Future”.
  • India is the COP president for 2019- 2021 + Took over the COP Presidency from China.
  • This adopted the Delhi Declarationin which parties expressed commitment for a range of issues including gender & health, ecosystem restoration, private sector engagement, Peace Forest Initiative.

 

Important Initiatives Introduced Through UNCCD Cops Are:

  • At COP14, India pledged to restore an additional 5 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, raising the land to be restored in India to 26 million hectares.
  • Ankara Initiative of Turkey: It was introduced through UNCCD COP 12 that reiterated the very purpose of UNCCD & its objectives.
  • Changwon Initiative of the Republic of Korea: It was introduced in COP10 that aims to enhance the scientific process of UNCCD.

 

THE BONN CHALLENGE
  • The Bonn Challenge is a global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded & deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 & 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • Launched by the Government of GermanyIUCN in 2011 & later endorsed & extended by the ‘New York Declaration on Forests’ in UN Climate Summit, 2014.
  • It is based on the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) approach, which aims to restore ecological integrity along with improving human wellbeing through multifunctional landscapes.
  • At UNFCC’s CoP-2015 Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded & deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030.
  • During the pilot phase of project (initial 3.5 years), it will be implemented in 5 states: Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland & Karnataka.

 

REDD and REDD+ (REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)

 

REDD REDD+
UN REDD is a flagship partnership of UN between FAO, UNEP and UNDP. REDD+ is a political framework under UNFCCC.
To protect, manage and save their forest resources, delivering Paris Agreement and SDGs. Goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation. Includes Conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancements of carbon stocks.
It assists the countries to develop the capacities needed to develop commitments to meet UNFCCC-REDD+ commitments It supports countries that reduce emissions and undertake sustainable management of forests by giving funds and resources as incentives.

 

STEPS TAKEN BY INDIA TO UPHOLD REDD and REDD+
  • INDCs under Paris Agreement- to capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • India’s first biennial update report to UNFCCC has revealed that forests in India capture about 12% of India’s total GHG emissions.
  • National REDD+ strategy (complying with the UNFCCC REDD+ decisions)
  • ICFRE-ICIMOD’s REDD+ Himalaya: Developing and using experience in implementing REDD+ in the Himalaya programme
  • ICFRE – Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education
  • ICIMOD – International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change
  • National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme
  • National Mission for a Green India (GIM)
  • Forest Fire Prevention & Management Scheme (FFPM)
  • Hosted COP14 of UNCCD, committed to restore 26 Mha of degraded land (a part of Delhi Declaration)

 

RAMSAR CONVENTION
  • It is an intergovernmental treaty for the conservation & wise-use of wetlands.
  • Signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 + into force -1975.
  • It is the only global environment treaty dealing with a particular ecosystem.
  • It is not affiliated with UNs system of multilateral environmental agreement.
  • A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally.
  • Wise use is the maintenance of ecological character within the context of sustainable development.
  • As of December 2020 there are 42 recognized Ramsar sites in India -the highest in South Asia.
  • Chilika Lake (Odissa) is the largest & the Renuka wetland (HP) are the smallest Ramsar Siteof India
  • Uttar Pradesh has the greatest number of Ramsar Sites in India.
  • Most recent additions: Asan Barrage (Uttrakhand), Kabar / Kanwar Taal Lake (Bihar), Sur Sarovar (Agra, UP) & Lonar Lake (Buldhana, MH).
  • The highest number of Ramsar sites is in the United Kingdom & the country with the largest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia.

 

THE MONTREUX RECORD
  • It is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of international importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of human interference.
  • It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List, which needs at most priority conservation.
  • There are two sites of India listed in Montreux record:
  1. Loktak Lake (Manipur)
  2. Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan)

 

CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES)
  • Also known as the Washington Convention
  • Objective: to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals & plants does not threaten their survival.
  • Drafted in 1963, at IUCN members meet + Came into force by July 1975, currently has 183 Parties. Location: Geneva.
  • 1976: India joined the CITES.
  • CITES, legally binding but does not take the place of national laws.
  • Amendments to the Convention must be supported by a two-thirds majority who are “present and voting”.

 

THE WILDLIFE TRADE MONITORING NETWORK (TRAFFIC)
  • TRAFFIC is a non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals & plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation & sustainable development.
  • A joint programme of WWF & IUCN + estb. in 1976.
  • TRAFFIC is complementary to CITES.
  • Objective: is to ensure that trade in wild plants & animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
  • It investigates and analyses wildlife trade trends, patterns, impacts & drivers to provide the leading knowledge base on trade in wild animals & plants.

 

Initiatives of TRAFFIC

 

“Don’t Buy Trouble” campaign:

 

  •          An initiative of TRAFFIC in India.
  •          Aim: to send warning message against buying illegal wildlife products.
  •          Targeted at tourists & other potential buyers of wildlife products.
  •          Under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 not only the Poacher or Trader of endangered wildlife, but also the Buyers are also liable for punishment.
“Wanted Alive” campaign:
  •          It is an advertisement campaign designed to remind Asia’s Big Cats conservation. (2012)
  •          Campaign posters feature the 4 Asian big cats: Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard, all of them threatened by illegal trade in their body parts.

 

CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES (CMS) OF WILD ANIMALS
  • It is an international treaty, concluded under the aegis of UNEP, signed in 1979. Also known as The Bonn Convention
  • Objective: is to conserve terrestrial, marine & avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • It is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats & migration routes.
  • Appendix-I: Includes, the threatened migratory species
  • Appendix-II: Includes, the migratory species requiring international cooperation.

 

CMS: 13th CoP Feb-2020
  • Held in Gandhinagar, India + India will host presidency for next 3
  • CoP-13 Theme: “Migratory species connect the planet & together we welcome them home”
  • Logo: was inspired by the traditional ‘KOLAM’ from Southern India, which has a profound significance in the context of living in harmony with nature.
  • Mascot: The GIBI – Great Indian Bustard (IUCN-Critically Endangered).
  • 13th CoP has adopted the Gandhinagar Declaration, which calls for migratory species & the concept of ‘Ecological Connectivity’ to be integrated & prioritized in the new framework.
  • Critically endangered species listed in Pink pages.
  • Green pages are used for those species that were formerly endangered, but have now recovered to a point where they are no longer threatened.
  • IUCN has observer & consultative status at the United Nations.

 

 

GLOBAL TIGER FORUM (GTF)
  • Founded in 1993, HQ: New Delhi, India.
  • Objective: to address the international issues related to tiger conservation in tiger range countries (TRC).
  • The TRC countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malayasia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and North-Korea.
  • GTF is the only intergovernmental organization related to tigers in the World.
  • GTF general assembly meets on every three years.

 

                                                                         

  STOCKHOLM CONVENTION
  • It is an International treaty, signed in 2001 and effective from 2004.
  • Objective: To eliminate or restrict the production & use of Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs).
  • It is a legally binding on member countries.
  • India is a party to this treaty + USA is not a signatory.
  • Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) & the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) prepared a list, known as the Dirty Dozen:
  • There is provision that developed countries provide new & additional financial resources & measures to minimize / regulate POPs to developing nations.

 

Persistent Organic Pollutants

  • These are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation.
  • These persist in the environment; bio accumulates and poses a risk to human health & the environment.

 

BASEL CONVENTION
  • Aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.
  • Signed in 1989 + entered into force on 5 May 1992 + Parties-187.
  • The USA & Haiti have signed the Convention but NOT ratified.
  • Its objective was to stop dumping of hazardous waste from developed countries in developing nations.
  • It does not address the movement of radioactive waste.
  • BASEL CoP-14 (Geneva, 2019) Theme: “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”.
  • The technical guidelines on e-waste & inclusion of plastic waste in the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure were decided in CoP-14.
  • The Conference kicked off “Super Year for Environment”, and culminates in the UN Biodiversity Conference at the end of 2020.
  • Ten new species were added to CMS Appendices at COP13
  • Seven species were added to Appendix-I: Asian Elephant, Jaguar, Great Indian Bustard, Bengal Florican, Little Bustard, Antipodean Albatross and the Oceanic White-tip Shark.
  • Three species were added to Appendix-II: Urial, Smooth Hammerhead Shark & the Tope Shark.

 

BASEL BAN AMENDMENT

  • It was adopted by the parties to the Basel Convention in 1995.
  • This prohibits the export of Hazardous wastes from member states of the European Union, OECD, & Liechtenstein to all other countries.
  • Amendment became international law on the 5th of December 2019.
  • Croatia became the 97th country to ratify the ban.

 

INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL TIMBER ORGANIZATION (ITTO)
  • ITTO is an intergovernmental organization under the UN.
  • Objective: To promote the sustainable management & conservation of tropical forests.
  • India is also a member.

 

UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON FORESTS (UNFF)
  • It is an Intergovernmental organization, established by the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2000 + HQ: New York, USA.
  • Objective: to strengthen political commitment to the management, conservation & sustainable development of all types of forests.
  • UNFF is built on the “Forest Principles” together with the Agenda-21 of Rio Earth summit (1992).

 

INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE (IUCN)
  • IUCN is an international organization works in the field of Conservation & Sustainable use of Nature & Natural resources.
  • Formed in: 1948 + Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
  • Governments as well as private groups can be members of IUCN.
  • It publishes (since 1964) the ‘IUCN Red List of Threatened Species’, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.

 

 

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION
  • It is a multilateral environmental treaty under UN to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of Hazardous Chemicals + effective from 2004.
  • To achieve its objectives the Convention includes two key provisions:
  • Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure&
  • Information Exchange Mechanism.
  • Creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC)

 

Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure

 

PIC is a mechanism to formally obtain approval & disseminate information on imports of those chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention. It also, ensures export compliance with guidelines.
Information Exchange Mechanism The Convention requires each Party to notify the Secretariat when taking a domestic regulatory action to ban or severely restrict a Chemical.

 

INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION (IWC)
  • International body set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICWR)
  • Objective: To conserve whale stocks + For orderly development of the whaling industry.
  • Signed in Washington DC on 2nd December 1946 + India joined in 1981.
  • It governs the commercial, scientific, & aboriginal subsistence whaling practices of 59 member nations
  • In 1982 the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling.
  • In 2018: Japan pulled out of the IWC to resume commercial whaling.

 

The “Florianópolis Declaration” of 2018

The declaration insists that commercial whaling is no longer a necessary economic activity & would allow the recovery of all whale population to pre-industrial whaling levels.

 

VIENNA CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE OZONE LAYER
  • It is one of the most successful treaties of all time + ratified by 197 states.
  • It is a multilateral environmental agreement that was agreed upon by 1985 & entered into force in 1988 + not legally binding
  • It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the Ozone layer.
  • These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol.

 

MONTREAL PROTOCOL
  • It is a protocol to Vienna Convention and it deals with the substances that deplete the Ozone Layer. (ozone depleting substance-ODS)
  • It was first treaty to achieve universal ratification.
  • The protocol recognizes that all nations should not be treated equally.

 

KIGALI AGREEMENT (2016)
  • On 1st January 2019, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol came into force.
  • This amends 1987 Montreal Protocol to reduce the use of HFCs (a family of potent GHG) by more than 80% by late 2040s.
  • It is a legally binding international agreement.
  • India recently achieved complete phase out of ozone depleting HydroChloroFluoro Carbons (HCFC-141b). Also, India proactively phased out production & consumption of CFCs in 2008 before the timeline.

 

Note: Though HFCs are not ODS they are included in Montreal Protocol through Kigali agreement due to their Global Warming potential.

 

HELSINKI PROTOCOL, 1985
  • Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions.

 

MINAMATA CONVENTION ON MERCURY
  • The Convention was signed at Minamata, Japan in 2013 & entered into force in 2017.
  • It is an UNEP led internationaltreaty designed to protect Human health and the Environment from anthropogenic emissions & releases of Mercury and Mercury compounds.
  • India ratified it in 2018.
  • Mercury is recognized as a substance producing significant adverse neurological & other health effects, with particular concerns expressed about its harmful effects on infants and unborn children.

 

GLOBALLY IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE SYSTEMS (GIAHS)
  • Purpose of GIAHS is to create public awareness, safeguard world agricultural heritage sites.
  • It was started in 2002by UN-FAO (Food & agricultural organization).
  • GIAHS are outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems & a valuable cultural heritage.
  • They sustainably provide multiple goods & services, food & livelihood security for millions of small-scale farmers.
  • GIAHS constitute the foundation for contemporary and future agricultural innovations and technologies.
  • Three regions of India which has been recognized as the GIAHS:
  • Koraput Traditional Agriculture, Odisha State
  • Saffron heritage of Kashmir Valley, Pampore region
  • Kuttanad below Sea level farming system.

 

GREEN AGRICULTURE PROJECT – India
  • Joint project of Ministry of Agriculture & the UNFood and Agriculture Organization(FAO), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
  • Aims to integrate Biodiversity, Climate Change & Sustainable Land Management objectives and practices into Indian Agriculture.
  • Implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, MoEF&CC & the FAO,
  • Pilot phase of the project conducted in Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

 

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE (GACSA)
  • GACSA is an inclusive, voluntary & action-oriented multi-stakeholder platform on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA).
  • CSA was developed by ‘Food and Agriculture Organization’ of the UN (FAO).
  • GACSA was launched in September 2014 in the margins of the UN Climate Summit.
  • The GACSA alliance is made up of a diverse set of members that includes governments, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations.