Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)
Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)
Pakistan is signatory to fifteen Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)/conventions/protocols and has ratified all of them. Consequently, it is mandatory for the state to ensure the implementation of the agreements that have been endorsed. The international environmental instruments (conventions/ protocols) may be divided into five broad categories:
1. Convention on Biological Diversity :
The Convention on Biological Diversity is about the Conservation and wise use of different biological resources (Plants and Animals). It was adopted in 1992 at the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and entered into force on January, 1993, which was 90 days after the 30th ratification, Pakistan signed CBD in June 1992 at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and ratified it on 26th July 1994.
2. Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety:
The Bio safety Protocol (Protocol to CBD) deals with the safe handling, storage and trans-boundary movement of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Cartagena Protocol was adopted on June 2001, in Cartagena, Spain and entered into force on September 11th, 2003. Pakistan signed the Cartagena Protocol in June, 2001 and has ratified it in May, 2009.
3. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):
This convention deals with co-operation among countries for the protection of certain endangered species of the wild animals and plants, and prevent their over exploitation through international trade. The Convention was adopted on 3rd March 1973 and entered into force on 1st July 1975, Pakistan signed the Convention in 1973 and ratified it in April 1976.
4. Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention).
The Ramsar convention deals with the protection of water bodies of international importance and attached Biodiversity, along with promoting wise use of allied resources. The Convention was adopted in 1971 at Ramsar, Iran and entered into force in 1975. Pakistan signed the Ramsar Convention in 1971, and ratified it in July 1976. There are 19 Ramsar sites in Pakistan.
5. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species deals with the conservation and protection of the migratory species. Pakistan signed this convention in 1981 and ratified it in December 1987.
Atmosphere / Climate Change (UNFCCC)
6. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
This convention highlights the broad guidelines to protect the Climate of the Planet. It was adopted in 1992 and came into force in 1994. The Government of Pakistan signed the UNFCCC in 1992 and ratified it in June 1994.
7. Kyoto Protocol to UNFCCC
The Kyoto protocol looks at mitigation of climate change so as to reverse the pace of climate change; and promote the carbon sequestration and carbon credits i.e. Certified Emission Reduction (CER) trading. The Protocol was adopted in 1997 and came into force in 2005; Pakistan signed the Protocol in December 1997 and ratified it in January 2005.
8. Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer highlights the need to protect the Ozone layer for conserving environment for the present and future generations. The Convention was adopted on 22nd March 1985 and came into force in 1988; Pakistan ratified it in December 1992.
9. 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer
The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer under which parties have to take appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment from human activities which change or are likely to change the ozone layer, by reducing the emissions of certain substances that deplete or change the Ozone Layer. The Protocol was adopted in 1987 and entered into force in January, 1989. Pakistan signed the Protocol in January 1989 and ratified it in December 1992.
Land Convention / Environmental Cooperation Conventions
10. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
This Convention attempts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought/ desertification. It is supported by international cooperation and takes and integrated approach for sustainable development in the affected areas. The Convention was adopted in Paris on 17th June 1994 and entered in force on 26th December 1996, Pakistan signed the Convention on 15th October 1994 and ratified it on 24th February, 1997.
Chemicals and Hazardous Wastes Conventions
11. Rotterdam Convention on prior Informed Consent (PIC) for certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade:
This Convention promotes shared responsibility and cooperation among parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to promote human health and protect the environment from potential harm, and to contribute to their environmentally sound use. The Convention was adopted on 10th September 1998 at Rotterdam, and entered into force on 24th February 2004. Pakistan signed the Rotterdam Convention in September, 1999 and ratified it on 14th July 2005.
12. Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal:
Basel Convention deals with the controlled trans-boundary movement of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal. The Convention was adopted on 22nd March 1989, and entered into force on 5th May 1992, Pakistan signed the Convention in May 1992 and ratified it in October 1994.
13. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic pollutants (POPs)
This Convention protects human health and the environment from the harmful impacts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). It was adopted on 22nd May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden and came into force on September, 2003. Pakistan signed the convention on 6th December 2001 and ratified it on 17th April 2008.
Regional Seas Conventions and related Agreements
14. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):
This Convention is about the peaceful uses of the seas and oceans, the equitable and efficient utilization of its resources, the conservation of their living resources, and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment. The Convention was adopted in 1982 and entered into force in 1994; Pakistan signed the Convention in December 1982 and ratified it in February 1997.
15. Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization meeting in Paris from 17 October to 21 November 1972, at its seventeenth session,
Noting that the cultural heritage and the natural heritage are increasingly threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions which aggravate the situation with even more formidable phenomena of damage or destruction.
It is important to remember that the objectives and priorities of MEAs vary significantly from one agreement to another, even within a cluster. The common aspects include the protection of human beings and the environment; sustainable development; sustainable use of natural resources; and the protection of environment in such a way as to ensure its sustainable use.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (NFCCC) Text
Agreement for The Establishment of a Commission (LOCUST)
Agreement on Aquaculture Centres in Asia
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
Convention on Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Paris 1972
International Plant Convention
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Text
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Vienna Convention for Protection of Ozone Layer 1985