International Environmental Agreements
|Topics:||Environmental Issues, Air Pollution, Climate Change, Deforestation, Global Warming|
The environmental conservation has been one of the most debated topics in the 20th and the 21st century. The increasing human population has led to the depletion of the natural resources, an increased number of industrial structures as well as the emission of the disastrous gaseous, solid and liquid materials into the environment. New studies have indicated that the impacts of the environmental destruction and pollution may have negative repercussions to the new generations in some decades to come. This is so because the environmental pollution witnessed in the late 20th century and the 21st century will have some long-term impacts such as causing climatic change and the rise in the sea level. Thus, addressing such an issue would be the most important step in the world. The environmental agencies have been on the forefront trying to sensitize people and the nations of the importance of environmental conservation.
In order to achieve the set objectives in the environmental conservation, nations ought to come together so as to curb on the practices that lead to the degradation of the environment. Such efforts were successful in the last few decades which necessitated the formation of the international environmental agreements (de Sherbinin, 2014). The most notable agreements on environmental conservation are like the UN framework convention on climate change, convention on biological diversity, convention to combat desertification and the convention on long-range transboundary air pollution. In all these agreements, nations from different parts of the world have cooperated with the view of minimizing harm to the environment.
According to the international environmental agreements website, there are more than 1280 MEAs and another more than 300 environmental agreements. This is a number counted since the beginning of the 20th century in which the issue of climate change became a concern in many nations. The number of the many agreements indicates how the nations are cooperating in trying to minimize environmental harm through its population, human activities, and environmental destruction.
Thus, the need for the international cooperation of the environmental issues would be an important step for the world states. Lack of cooperation would render efforts of the few cooperating nations invalid. For instance, the production, testing, and the explosion of weapons of mass destruction is one of the major concerns of the 21st-century world. Some nations such as North Korea have been engaging in nuclear weapon building, a process that has some harmful impacts on the environment (“IEA Database Home | International Environmental Agreements (IEA) Database Project”, 2018). Cooperation between the Asian, African, American and European nations in fighting against such practices would yield to sustainable environmental development.
The environmental conservation methods can be made successful through an international agreement. Cutting down of trees, the greenhouse effect, emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere by the industries coupled with the destruction of the natural environments would lead to a destruction of the environment. A polluted environment would become inhabitable to the living organisms which may hinder survival in the coming future.
In summary, therefore, Cooperation of the international nations would thus prove successful as every nation would try to achieve the set objectives. The United Nations in conjunction with the international and local environmental conservation agencies have been working together in promoting recommended practices that have little harm to the environment.
The Kyoto protocol is one of the international environmental agreements. It works in partnership with the United Nations. The Kyoto protocol is a treaty extending from the initial 1992 UNFCC which was committed to minimizing greenhouse emission. before becoming effective on February 2005, it is imperative to note that it has its roots in Kyoto Japan, with its inception on the 11th of December 1999 (Santilli et al., 2005). The Marrakesh accords which are the rules binding the functionality, as well as the objectives of the protocol, were formulated in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The agreements are based on the scientific studies that the human-made carbon iv oxide could lead to global warming and hence make the world an inhospitable place in the future generations. With the UN fighting against greenhouse emissions and environmental pollution, the Kyoto protocol has a linkage with it to combating climate change. The protocol works by setting up targets for reducing emissions.
The protocol’s main objectives of minimizing environmental pollution have been achievable. This is because the protocol recognizes that the developed nations are leading in the emission of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. The developed nations such as England and America emit a lot of gases which cannot be compared with Asian or African nations. Therefore, the protocol has been placing a heavier burden on such states under the principle of common but different responsibilities.
The Kyoto protocol has been subjected to the new environmental changes, which has thus necessitated an amendment. One of the new amendments to the protocol is the Doha amendment for the Kyoto protocol. The new amendment to the 1999 protocol was adopted in the year 2012 in Doha, Qatar. The main points and the amendment revolved around the issues of international agreements and cooperation in promoting sustainable environmental development. In the Doha protocol, the Annex I parties of the protocol added new commitments which were effective as from January 2013 to December 2020 (UN Climate Change, 2014). Also, the new amendment involved a revision of the GHG to be reported only by members in the Annex I commitments. Thus, the Kyoto protocol is also one of the most used international agreements that have had numerous efforts aimed at minimizing environmental pollution.
Lao PDR and the international conversation
Lao PDR also referred to as the Lao people’s democratic republic is a country situated on the Indochinese peninsula in the southeastern part of Asia. The nations such as Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, and China border the country. The Lao PDR is a nation which has been facing increasing issues of the environment. Deforestation is a particular issue which has been facing the small country of South Asia. Deforestation in the region is attributable to the increasing human population, low gross domestic product, and increasing industrial developments. Thus, with such issues, the country has been on the forefront in joining other international parties in fighting environmental problems including deforestation and gaseous emissions.
As such, the Lao PDR has been involved in many international conventions on environmental sustainability. The international conventions involve the London revision to the Montreal protocol on substances that destroy the ozone layer. Furthermore, the country is also part of the Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants. Therefore, the Lao PDR is a nation that has been cooperative with the international agreements on making sure that the conservation of the environment is promoted.
- United Nations Climate Change. (2014). Kyoto Protocol. Unfccc.int. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php
- De Sherbinin, A. (2014). Environmental Treaties. In Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing (pp. 196-199). Springer New York.
- IEA Database Home | International Environmental Agreements (IEA) Database Project. (2018). Iea.uoregon.edu. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://iea.uoregon.edu
- Santilli, M., Moutinho, P., Schwartzman, S., Nepstad, D., Curran, L., & Nobre, C. (2005). Tropical deforestation and the Kyoto Protocol. Climatic Change, 71(3), 267-276.