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International Treaties and Convention

International Treaties and Convention

At the international level, there have been a number of conventions, protocols, and treaties to control/regulate atmospheric pollution. We are listing here some of them below:

CITES (Washington Convention): This agreement, in effect since 1975, protects endangered species by regulating their international trade. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments.

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Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer: Established in 1985, it aims to safeguard the ozone layer and came into force in 1988.

Sulphur Emissions Reduction Protocol: This 1987 international agreement aims to reduce sulphur emissions, which harm the environment.

Antarctic Environmental Protocol: It protects the Antarctic environment and became effective in 1998 after opening for signature in 1991.

Basel Convention: This treaty, in force since 1992, controls the movement of hazardous wastes between nations.

ESPOO Convention: It regulates environmental impact assessments for projects with cross-border effects, in effect since 1997.

Convention on Biological Diversity: This treaty, effective since 1993, promotes biodiversity conservation and equitable resource sharing.

Montreal Protocol: Established in 1989, it protects the ozone layer by phasing out harmful substances, with several revisions.

Nitrogen Oxide Protocol: This treaty, in effect since 1991, controls nitrogen oxide emissions and their transboundary impacts.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): In force since 1994, it aims to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations to mitigate climate change.

Convention on Nuclear Safety: Ensures safety in nuclear power plants and came into effect in 1996.

Kyoto Protocol: This 2005 treaty updates the UNFCCC, focusing on combating global warming.

Rotterdam Convention: Effective since 2004, it ensures informed procedures for hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: In force since 2004, it aims to eliminate or restrict harmful organic pollutants.

POP Air Pollution Protocol: This 2003 treaty controls the emissions of persistent organic pollutants.

The UNFCCC is a section of the United Nations, concerned with operations of the convention. It has offices in Haus Carstanjen, Bonn, Germany. After it came into force in 1994, it holds annual conferences, called Conferences of the Parties (COP). The first conference took place in Berlin, Germany, in March 1995, and the latest (17th) conference was held in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9, 2011. The 16th conference occurred in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29th to December 10, 2010.

The Kyoto Protocol, known as such because it set greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligations on industrialized countries along with mechanisms like emissions trading, clean development mechanism, and joint implementation, was held in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. Most countries agreed to legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on an average of 6 to 8% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012.


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