Land Title: Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions, Fourth Edition Authors: Michael I. McKinney, Robert M. Schoch, Logan Yonavjak
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Selected Pieces of International Environmental Legislation

This international agreement was signed in Paris in 1972 for the purpose of preserving areas of cultural or natural "outstanding universal value" for posterity.
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
LRTAP is an agreement that was initially adopted by various countries, mostly from Europe and North America, in 1979; it went into effect in 1983.
Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)
This international agreement was formulated in Montreal, Canada, in 1987 to phase out the production and release of CFCs and other substances that destroy the stratospheric ozone layer.
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
CITES is an international agreement, dating back to 1973 (it first went into force in 1975 and has been amended several times since), that controls and monitors the international trade in endangered or threatened species of plants and animals (either whole organisms, parts of organisms, or products derived from the organisms).
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
This convention was formulated in Bonn, Germany, in 1979 and came into force in 1983. Its purpose is to protect endangered and threatened migratory species of animals, such as birds, that regularly cross national boundaries.
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) or Migratory Species Convention
This is a United Nations (UN) treaty that was adopted in 1982 after decades of work, and the actual mandates of the convention do not go into force until various dates in the 1990s. Basically, this convention provides a legal framework for all international agreements and disputes regarding the oceans and seas, including the use of the oceans and their resources for all purposes, such as navigation, laying cables and pipelines, constructing artificial islands, dumping wastes, fishing, mining the oceans' floors for minerals, and the scientific study of the oceans.
Convention on the Law of the Sea (or Law of the Sea Convention, LOSC)
This agreement was adopted in London in 1972 and became effective in 1975. Its purpose is to control pollution of the oceans by the deliberate dumping of wastes (other than the disposal of wastes that is part of the normal operation of ships and aircrafts over the seas).
Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and Other Matter (London Dumping Convention, LDC)
This international agreement was adopted in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 and went into force in 1975. Its basic purpose, as its title implies, is to preserve wetlands around the world, especially those that are important to migratory waterfowl.
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention or Wetlands Convention)
This document resulted from the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm. A nonbinding document, it has served as a guide to national and international efforts to protect the environment.
Declaration of the Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Declaration)
. In 1980 the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, in conjunction with the UN Environment Programme, the World Wildlife Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, published the report World Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development.
World Conservation Strategy
This is a nonbinding international declaration of conservation principles adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1982.
World Charter for Nature
This international UN Program, established in 1970, is devoted to improving the relationship of humans to the natural environment. It includes scientific research, preservation, and training activities.
Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB)
In 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway, published its report titled Our Common Future (which takes the form of an approximately 400-page book). This report was endorsed by the UN General Assembly and has been called one of the most important recent documents on the future of the world. It calls for a revival of economic growth, particularly in the developing countries, but such growth must take the form of sustainable development.
Brundtland Report
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. The conference reaffirmed and built upon the Stockholm Declaration, adding 27 principles dealing with the role of humans and states in the development of sustainable practices throughout the world.
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
"Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality, the Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live."
Convention on Biological Diversity
In the late 1980s, a tightening of environmental regulations in industrialized countries led to a dramatic rise in the cost of hazardous waste disposal. Searching for cheaper ways to get rid of the wastes, “toxic traders” began shipping hazardous waste to developing countries and to Eastern Europe. When this activity was revealed, international outrage led to the drafting and adoption of the Basel Convention. The Convention was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries which was convened at Basel from 20 to 22 March 1989.
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
UNCCD was formed pursuant to the Rio Declaration's support for a new, integrated approach to the problem of desertification, especially in Africa, emphasizing action to promote sustainable development at the community level.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
UNCLOS is the "constitution of the sea."
United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
"Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty -- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. Recently, a number of nations have approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures."
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming
Exolex is a database run by FAO, UNEP, and IUCN providing exhaustive on global environmental legislation.
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Link: Jones and Bartlett Publishers