In this Study Session, you have learned that:
- Countries of the world need international agreements in order to work together. Activities in one country may affect others in terms of damaging the environment.
- There are different categories of international agreements. A convention is a formal overall agreement, while a protocol provides specific details to be implemented. Declarations are non-binding agreements in which aspirations are expressed.
- The UN Convention on Climate Change, and subsequent agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord, deal with how to protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Basel and Bamako Conventions deal with the movement of hazardous wastes between countries; the Bamako Convention especially aims to stop the import of hazardous wastes into African countries.
- The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context recognises that harm from development does not just occur within a country but across borders. The Convention aims to control such harm using EIAs.
- Some international agreements focus on specific chemical pollutants such as persistent organic pollutants and toxic heavy metals such as mercury.
- UN declarations of relevance to WASH include those on human rights, the right to water and sanitation, and on primary health care.
- Millennium Development Goals were internationally agreed targets for countries on a range of development issues to be met by 2015. These have been followed by the Sustainable Development Goals which set targets for 2030.
- Secretariats at the UN take the lead in monitoring the implementation of UN conventions and protocols. Each signatory country to the convention and protocol is expected to ratify the provisions in a form of national laws (regulations or acts) to be implemented in its territory, so declaring its international commitment.
Last modified: Tuesday, 2 August 2016, 4:48 PM