Enforcing Environmental Agreements
Geneva, 2 June 2006 – After decades of developing environmental treaties, protocols and other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), the international community is turning its attention to ensuring that these instruments are complied with and enforced. The need for this new focus is clear: many countries are struggling to implement their environmental commitments under the numerous agreements to which they are party. Where do they start? Are there more efficient and effective ways to implement MEAs? How can they be fully implemented with limited resources?
To assist countries in addressing the many challenges facing them, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has produced a “Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements”. This Manual is being launched today in Geneva on the occasion of festivities to commemorate World Environment Day 2006.
This new Manual builds on UNEP’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of governments to implement and enforce MEAs and to comply with environmental law more broadly. It seeks to facilitate the use and application of the “Guidelines on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements”. These Guidelines were developed by UNEP with the cooperation of Governments and many other stakeholders and approved by UNEP’s Governing Council when it met in Cartagena, Colombia in February 2002.
The Manual complements the Guidelines by providing specific examples from around the world on how governments, NGOs, the private sector, and other institutions have utilized the various approaches to ensuring compliance and enforcement. It also sets out more detailed explanations, checklists and additional resources as a way of providing more depth to the specific approaches.
The Manual can serve as a reference tool and guide for a wide audience of stakeholders who have a role in ensuring the effective implementation of MEAs. These include treaty negotiators, decision-makers, legal practitioners, police, customs officers, researchers, and legal drafters in governmental, non-governmental, academic, and professional institutions, to mention but a few. Fully searchable on-line and CD-ROM versions will be added in the near future to expand the Manual’s practical value and appeal.
For more information: Mr. Bakary Kante, Director, Division of Environmental Conventions, UNEP. Tel. (254-20) 7624065, firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.unep.org/dec/.