Various initiates by the world community in safeguarding natural resources

Montreal Protocol 

It was finalized in the year 1987 and adopted on 15 September 1987. It is a multilateral environmental agreement and this protocol is the only UN treaty ever up to date which was initially approved by only 46 countries but now it is ratified by all 197 UN member countries/states. This protocol regulates the production and consumption of man-made chemicals which can deplete the ozone layer. 


Kyoto Protocol

Second commitment of Kyoto Protocol (2013-2020), bridges the gap between the end of the first commitment and the start of the second commitment with further emission cuts. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Annex B-Parties (the countries which have adopted the targets to reduce the greenhouse emissions) with legally binding emission reduction commitments.

Paris Agreement

It is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) which focuses on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. It is replaced by its predecessor, the Kyoto protocol which is also the international treaty for similar purposes and its second commitment expires this year i.e. 2020. The Paris Agreement came into force on 4th November 2016 and has been signed by 197 countries and as of November 2019- 187 countries have confirmed. India has also given its consent to this agreement. In the whole world, India stands at third after China and the US when it comes to the emission of the greenhouse effect according to May 2019.

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985

Initially, this convention was agreed in 1985 and it came into force on 22 September 1988. It is a multilateral agreement. Montreal protocol comes under this convention. This convention was formed with a purpose to globally monitor and report on the ozone depletion. Under this convention, it made structures for the improvement of protocols and also for taking a more binding action.


Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992 (CBD)

This convention provides a legally binding framework which came into force in 1993 with a purpose to conserve the biodiversity and use biodiversity feasibly. The main objective of this convention is to encourage those actions which will lead to a sustainable or viable future. The governing body of this convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

This convention is an international agreement between the countries and entered into force in 1975 which aims to protect wildlife from over-exploitation due to international trade. Basically under this agreement, the government regulates the traded wildlife and its products that it does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, for example, leather goods, animals, food etc.

Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP)

This convention came into force on 16th March 1983. This convention aims that the contracting parties should make efforts to protect the environment against the adverse effects of the pollution, to ensure that the parties take several and necessary steps to fight against the release of the air pollutants and also to create committees for the further progress and imposition of the convention.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

This convention is an international treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. It came into force on 1st November 1983. Since 1983 India is a party to this convention. The primary focus of this convention is to provide for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. This convention tries to complement and co-operate the provisions with a number of international organisations, NGOs, corporate sector etc.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

This convention came into force on 1st January 2005 and as of February 2018, only 39 Council of Europe member states have ratified the Convention. 

The motive of this convention is to protect and manage the landscapes and to organise the international co-operation on landscape issues. The parties of this convention in order to implement the provision should undertake the activities which are set to raise public awareness, defining the quality of landscapes etc.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

This convention is an intergovernmental treaty adopted on 2nd February 1971 and it entered into force on 21 December 1975. It provides a framework for international and national cooperation so that they can achieve sustainable development throughout the world by taking efforts towards the conservation and judicious/wise use of the wetlands. As of January 2016, 170 nations have joined the Convention as Contracting Parties. 

The Ramsar convention under its fourth strategic plan set off a period from 2016-2024 with almost the same objectives mentioned earlier.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

This convention is a legally binding international treaty which was adopted on 22nd May 2001 in Sweden and it came into force on 17th May 2004. Its objective is to protect human health and the environment from the dangerous outcomes from the organic pollutants (Pesticides, Industrial chemical, Aldrin etc.). POPs are the chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods and it gets widely distributed in the overall area which collects or gathers the fatty tissue of the living organisms which are toxic to the humans and wildlife. These POPs circulates globally which in result can cause damage wherever they travel. 

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

It is an international environmental treaty which was adopted on 9th May 1992, and it was opened for signature at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. It is also known as Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit or Rio summit. It came into force on 21st March  1994. Almost every country on earth has ratified this convention.

It is an agreement made on climate change and mainly focuses on the prevention of dangerous actions or interference by humans on climate change or on the environment. The parties also agreed towards the stabilization of the greenhouse gas emissions. Every party/country by signing to this convention have dedicated themselves to do the regular reporting regarding the level of greenhouse emissions and also their initiation to reduce the interference. 

World Heritage Convention

This convention was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1972 and as of 31st January 2016- 193 state parties (including India) have ratified to this convention. The primary objective of this convention is to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage. It also manifests an idea that few places are so important that their protection is not only the responsibility of a single nation, but is also the duty of the international community as a whole, and not only for this generation but for all those to come. 


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