Wednesday, October 5, 2011


United Nations Conference on the Human Environment: 
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (also known as the Stockholm Conference) was an international conference convened under United Nations auspices held in Stockholm, Sweden from June 5-16, 1972. It was the UN's first major conference on international environmental issues, and marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics.
 When the UN General Assembly decided to convene the Stockholm Conference, at the initiative of the Government of Sweden, UN Secretary-General U Thant  Attended by the representatives of 113 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. The meeting agreed upon a Declaration containing 26 principles concerning the environment and development; an Action Plan with 109 recommendations, and a Resolution.
This very first conference gave way for many development on environmental protection later years like kyoto protocol. The year 2012 marks 40th anniversary of the conference.. 
The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer: 
The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement. It was agreed upon at theVienna Conference of 1985 and entered into force in 1988.
It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer. However, it does not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs, the main chemical agents causing ozone depletion. These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol.
Montreal Protocol:
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050.[1] Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation, with Kofi Annan quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol". It has been ratified by 196 states.
 The treaty is structured around several groups of halogenated hydrocarbons that have been shown to play a role in ozone depletion. All of these ozone depleting substances contain either chlorine or bromine (substances containing only fluorine do not harm the ozone layer)

There are two programs members countries agreed to implement: 1. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Phase-out Management Plan 2. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP)

Earth Summit
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as theRio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit (Portuguese: Eco '92) was a major United Nationsconference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992.
172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government.[1] Some 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum" (a.k.a. Forum Global), who had Consultative Status.
The issues addressed included:
§  systematic scrutiny of patterns of production — particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals
§  alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change
§  new reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog
§  the growing scarcity of water
An important achievement was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. Another agreement was to "not carry out any activities on the lands of indigenous peoples that would cause environmental degradation or that would be culturally inappropriate".
The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the Earth Summit, and made a start towards redefinition of measures that did not inherently encourage destruction of natural ecoregions and so-called uneconomic growth.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC) is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. The objective of the treaty is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.[1]
The treaty itself set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-binding. Instead, the treaty provides for updates (called "protocols") that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol, which has become much better known than the UNFCCC itself.
The UNFCCC was opened for signature on May 9, 1992, after an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in New York from April 30 to May 9, 1992. It entered into force on March 21, 1994. As of May 2011, UNFCCC has 194 parties.

Convention on Biological Diversity:

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals:
1.     conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);
2.     sustainable use of its components; and
3.     fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources
In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.
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.
2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted.[1] On 22 December 2010, the UN declared the period from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. They, hence, followed a recommendation of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010.
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: 
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmentaltreaty, signed in 2001 and effective from May 2004, that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants
In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as "chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment".
Following this, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) and the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) prepared an assessment of the 12 worst offenders, known as the dirty dozen.
The negotiations for the Convention were completed on 23 May 2001 in Stockholm. The convention entered into force on 17 May 2004 with ratification by an initial 128 parties and 151 signatories. Co-signatories agree to outlaw nine of the dirty dozen chemicals, limit the use of DDTto malaria control, and curtail inadvertent production of dioxins and furans.
Parties to the convention have agreed to a process by which persistent toxic compounds can be reviewed and added to the convention, if they meet certain criteria for persistence and transboundary threat. The first set of new chemicals to be added to the Convention were agreed at a conference in Geneva on 8 May 2009.
As of April, 2011, there are 173 parties to the Convention.
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: 
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement on biosafety, as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
The Biosafety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the precautionary principle and allow developing nations to balance public health against economic benefits. It will for example let countries ban imports of a living modified organism if they feel there is not enough scientific evidence that the product is safe and requires exporters to label shipments containing genetically altered commodities such as corn or cotton.
The required number of 50 instruments of ratification/accession/approval/acceptance by countries was reached in May 2003. In accordance with the provisions of its Article 37, the Protocol entered into force on 11 September 2003.
 the objective of the Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of 'living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology' that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements
Kyoto Protocol: 
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an internationalenvironmental treaty with the goal of achieving the "stabilization ofgreenhouse 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.[2] The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is the United States. Other states yet to ratify Kyoto include Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan, after Somalia ratified the protocol on 26 July 2010.
Under the Protocol, 37 countries ("Annex I countries") commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by them, and all member countries give general commitments. Annex I countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level. Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition to the industrial gases,chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The benchmark 1990 emission levels accepted by the Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC (decision 2/CP.3) were the values of "global warming potential" calculated for the IPCC Second Assessment Report. These figures are used for converting the various greenhouse gas emissions into comparable CO2equivalents (CO2-eq) when computing overall sources and sinks.
The Protocol allows for several "flexible mechanisms", such asemissions trading, the clean development mechanism (CDM) andjoint implementation to allow Annex I countries to meet their GHG emission limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere, through financial exchanges, projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I countries, from other Annex I countries, or from annex I countries with excess allowances.
Each Annex I country is required to submit an annual report of inventories of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from sources and removals from sinks under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. These countries nominate a person (called a "designated national authority") to create and manage its greenhouse gas inventory. Virtually all of the non-Annex I countries have also established a designated national authority to manage its Kyoto obligations, specifically the "CDM process" that determines which GHG projects they wish to propose for accreditation by the CDM Executive Board.
Earth Summit 2002
The World Summit on Sustainable Development, WSSD or Earth Summit 2002 took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002. It was convened to discuss sustainable development by the United Nations. WSSD gathered a number of leaders from business and non-governmental organizations, 10 years after the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. (It was therefore also informally nicknamed "Rio+10".)
The Johannesburg Declaration was the main outcome of the Summit; however, there were several other international agreements.
The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development:
 was adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development(WSSD), sometimes referred to as Earth Summit 2002, at which the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development[2] was also agreed upon.
The Johannesburg Declaration builds on earlier declarations made at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment  atStockholm in 1972, and the Earth Summit[4] in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. While committing the nations of the world to sustainable development, it also includes substantial mention of multilateralism as the path forward.
In terms of the political commitment of parties, the Declaration is a more general statement than the Rio Declaration. It is an agreement to focus particularly on "the worldwide conditions that pose severe threats to the sustainable development of our people, which include: chronic hunger; malnutrition; foreign occupation; armed conflict; illicit drug problems; organized crime; corruption; natural disasters; illicit arms trafficking; trafficking in persons; terrorism; intolerance and incitement to racial, ethnic, religious and other hatreds; xenophobia; and endemic, communicable and chronic diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis." Johannesburg Declaration 19 

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