Important Environmental Treaties

Treaty Signed/Into force Major Points
Aarhus Convention on Access to information for public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters 1998 Aarhus is a Danish city

Adopted at the fourth ministerial conference in the ‘Environment for Europe’ process

Links environmental rights and human rights


India – No

Vienna Convention for the protection of Ozone layer 1985/1988 Does not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs


At Vienna Conference

Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone layer 1987/1989 It is a protocol to the Vienna Convention


“perhaps the single most successful international agreement” – Kofi Annan

196 states ratified

Includes CFCs, HCFCs

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal 1989/1992 Particularly to prevent waste transfer from Developed to LDCs


175 parties

Signed but not ratified: Afghanistan, Haiti, US

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in international trade 1998/2004 Rotterdam is a city in Netherlands


Endosulfan is proposed to be added to the list


Stockholm Convention on persistence organic pollutants 2001/2004 173 parties
Bamako Convention 1991/1998 On the ban on the import into Africa and the Control of movement of Hazardous waste within Africa

Negotiated by 12 nations of Organisation of African Unity at Bamako, Mali

The CBD Framework    
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety   Seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern technology. The Protocol applies to the transboundary movement, transit, handling and use of all living modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health
Nagoya Protocol    
For Conservation    
CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Aka Washington Convention 1973/1975 Under IUCN. Trade in specimen should not threaten the survival of plants and animals. Only one species under it ‘Spix Macaw’ has become extinct in the wild.
Convention on Migratory Species aka Bonn Convention 1979/1983 To conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species
Antarctic Treaty System 1959/1961 12 original members. HQ: Buenos Aires. India joined in 1983. Sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity there. First arms control treaty during the cold war.
International Whaling Commission 1946 Signed in Washington. Moratorium on whaling adopted in 1986. Following countries havnt adopted the moratorium: Norway, Iceland, Japan.
UN Convention to Combat Desertification 1994 (on the basis of Agenda 21)/1996 First and only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification.


2006: Int. Year of Deserts and Desertification.

Non-parties: Iraq, Montenegro, Vatican

Secretariat: Rome

Meetings: 1st – Rome 1997, 9th – Buenos Aires, 2009

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