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MEAs overview Andrea Brusco. Legal Officer UNEP/ROLAC. OVERVIEW OF THE PRESENTATION. What is an MEA? Principles The process of MEA development Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement MEAs institutions Synergies, cooperation and collaboration Evolution of MEAs - Clusters - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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MEAs overview

Andrea Brusco Legal Officer UNEP/ROLAC

1 OVERVIEW OF THE PRESENTATION What is an MEA?PrinciplesThe process of MEA developmentImplementation, Compliance and EnforcementMEAs institutionsSynergies, cooperation and collaborationEvolution of MEAs - ClustersOverview of selected MEAs2MEAsMultilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs): motivated by worldwide concerns about the serious and at times irreversible environmental effects of human activities.

Concern -> Agreement -> Solution?When an MEA enters into force:implementation measures that will result in compliance become mandatory for the Parties,through adoption/adaptation of national legislative and institutional/administrative frameworks.3What is an MEA?Binding international agreement between two States (bilateral) or between three or more States (multilateral) committing to achieve specific environmental goals,

Can be stand-alone; e.g. Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar),

Can be framework agreements (CBD),

Binds only parties, but can affect non-parties (for example, through trade bans under CITES) 44Principles1972 - StockholmUN Conference on Human Environment1992 - Rio de JaneiroUN Conference on Environment and Development SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT2002 - Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development2012 Rio de Janeiro UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio Declaration - PrinciplesSovereignty of the States over their natural resources,Prevention,Common but differentiated responsibilities, Pollutant pays, Precautionary approach,Access to information, public participation and environmental justice,National implementation of sustainable development.

6The Process of MEA DevelopmentPre-negotiationNegotiationAdoption & signatureRatification and accessionEntry into forceWithdrawal from MEA7Adoption and SignatureUpon agreement, the final text is adopted at the diplomatic conference or conference of plenipotentiaries (i.e. representatives acting with full authority of their governments),

Signature by a State authenticates the text as the one finally agreed upon and indicates consent to content of negotiations and commitment to the object and purpose of the MEA,Legally, this means that the State agrees not to undermine the MEA (Convention of Vienna on the Law of the Treaties) Signature must occur within the time period that the MEA is open for signature.

Reservations?: recent MEAs do not allow reservations (e.g. Vienna Convention, Montreal Protocol, Basel Convention), some are silent (e.g. Espoo Convention)

8Ratification and Accession

States are bound when they become Party to an MEA

A State becomes a Party by:

Ratification (by signatories): legislature/executive consents to treaty,Acceptance or approval: used when ratification is not explicitly provided for,Accession: occurs after the MEA comes into force for those States which did not sign agreement when it was open for signature.

9Amendments/DecisionsThe scope of an MEA may be adjusted by way of an amendment or decision,

e.g. CITES requires a Decision of the Conference of the Parties to list a species on its Annexes.

Some MEAs require 2/3 majority (e.g. Montreal Protocol or CITES), while others require consensus (e.g. Kyoto Protocol)

Amendments may require ratification,

If amendment is insufficient, a new agreement or protocol may be necessary (e.g. Biosafety Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).10ImplementationMeans promulgating and enacting relevant laws, regulations, policies, and other measures and initiatives necessary for Parties to meet their obligations under and achieve compliance with an MEA.ComplianceMeans the state of conformity with obligations imposed by a State, its competent authorities and agencies, whether directly or through conditions and requirements in permits, licenses, and authorizations, in implementing MEAs.EnforcementRefers to the range of procedures and actions employed by a State to ensure compliance with environmental laws or regulations implemented through MEAs by imposing civil, administrative, or criminal penalties on violators.

Responding to Non-compliance Sovereign States enter into MEAs on a voluntary basis and may withdraw, under certain conditions.States are reluctant to subject themselves to potential sanctions

Query: What happens when a State fails to comply with its obligations under an MEA (e.g. failing to fulfil reporting obligations)?Answer: Most MEAs utilise a formal internal compliance control procedure or non-compliance procedure (NCP), as well as some informal mechanisms.Why current focus on promoting implementation of, compliance with and enforcement of MEAs? Last three decades saw rapid development of MEAs.Positive development as it may be, has had negative impact on their implementation and enforcement. Despite the existence of so many MEAs developed over the years, their compliance and enforcement has been weak or inadequate. Result has been the recent shift of focus from development of more MEAs to promoting compliance with and enforcement of existing environmental conventions especially at national level.13MEA Institutions and Implementation (1)UNEP: United Nations Environment ProgrammeFacilitates international cooperation on environmental mattersUNEP includes various relevant divisions, which prepare drafts of treaties (e.g., CITES, CBD, Basel Convention, CMS), facilitate the negotiation process, assist Parties, and maintain or support secretariats for many MEAs

SecretariatsMay be part of an existing IGO (UNEP provides secretariat services for Basel Convention, Ozone Convention, CBD, CMS) or may be a stand-alone institution (Climate Change secretariat, Ramsar).

14Headquartered in Nairobi the only UN program to be headquartered in a developing country.MEA Institutions and Implementation (2)Secretariats:Information Gathering: Often acts as an information clearinghouse for the MEA (e.g. Party reports under Montreal Protocol on quantity of ozone depleting substances), and receive annual or biannual reports from Parties and compile it in uniform formats for effective use at COP.Record Keeping: Some MEAs require the secretariat to maintain official, technical, and other annexes essential to the MEA. (e.g. Bureau of the Ramsar Convention maintains a list of designated wetlands and a list of conservation targets).Monitor Compliance & Facilitate Implementation : In most instances, the Secretariat has no enforcement authority, but it does have the power of persuasion to bring a violating party into compliance, Provide or arrange for technical support to assist parties to improve compliance.Supporting the Conference of the Parties (COP)

15Headquartered in Nairobi the only UN program to be headquartered in a developing country.MEA Institutions and Implementation (3)Conference of the PartiesThe primary policy-making organ of most MEA regimes,Typically occurs once every one or two years,Monitor, update, revise and enforce conventions,Can also review the state of science (Example: Article 7 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Subsidiary Bodies and CommitteesCreated pursuant to an MEA, sometimes by a specific MEA provision,Aim: address specific issues (e.g., technical issues and furthering of technical cooperation)ExamplesCBD: Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)Ramsar Convention: Scientific and Technical Review panel (STRP)

Evolution of MEAsPre-Rio: conservation of specific species or habitats.

The Rio Conventions: CBD, UNFCCC, UNCCD

Post-Rio Conventions: Protocols to the CBD and UNFCCC, Chemicals cluster .Overlap: synergies, coordination & cooperationNumerous MEAs lead to challenges for institutional coordination:Various institutions have responsibility for implementing different but related MEAs; e.g. CBD (UNEP), World Heritage Convention (UNESCO), Ramsar (IUCN).

How to coordinate and cooperate among these institutions? Where should the leadership come from?

This need is underscored by increasing calls to simultaneously address environmental and development concerns in a sustainable fashion (thematic linkages among related MEAs)

Thus: there is a need to improve synergies among MEAs

Clustering Biodiversity related MEAs - Wetlands RAMSAR 1971 , World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972 , Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species CITES 1973, Convention on Biological Diversity 1992Marine Protection and Safety - Cartagena Convention on the Protection and Development of the Marine Env. In the Wider Caribbean 1983 and Protocols, UN Convention opn the Law of the Sea 1982Chemicals /Waste Management - Basel Convention on Hadarzous Wastes, Rotterdam Convention on the Priir Informed Cosent, Stockholm Convention on POPsAtmospheric and Climate - Vienna Covnetion for the Protecytion of the Ozone Layer (1985) and Montreal Protocol (1989), UNFCCC (1992) and Kyoto Protocol (2005)Sustainable Land Management United Nations Convention on Combat Desertification (1992)

Overview of selected MEAs CBD: framework convention. Intensive negotiaton process which led to 2 Protocols.UNFCCC: common but differentiated responsibilities.Chemicals cluster: synergies, collaboration & cooperation.CBD Convention on Biological Diversity Entry into force: 29 December 199342 Articles and 2 AnnexParties: 193

Main objectives : The conservation of biological diversity, The sustainable use of its components, The fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

21CBDArticle 6 states that each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its particular conditions and capabilities: - Develop national strategies, plans or