Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
Previous International Initiatives to Address POPs
International Law Legal and Institutional Framework
for the Protection of the Marine Environment
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (May 2001)
Read the text of the
POPs Convention at UNEP Chemicals home page.
Previous International Initiatives to Address POPs
Global and Regional Agreements
Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment,
1995. (pdf file)
Nations European Commission for Europe, LRTAP POPs Protocol, 1998.
The Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, (LRTAP), was
agreed in Geneva, on 13 November 1979. There are seven Protocols to the
1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. One of those
is the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants, done at Aarhus (Denmark),
on 24 June 1998.
Regional Seas Conventions
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic
Sea Area, 1992 (entry into force Jan. 2000).
OSPAR (Oslo-Paris) Convention, Convention for the Protection of the
Marine environment of the North-East Atlantic, 1998. The OSPAR Convention
comprehends the initiatives taken in the framework of the:
- Conference to Protect the North Sea;
- Oslo-Paris Convention (North-East Atlantic).
The Oslo Treaty came into force in 1974 and banned the dumping of certain
wastes, such as mercury, cadmium and persistent plastics, in the North
Sea. The Oslo Treaty has similar black lists and grey lists to the London
Convention of substances that are banned from dumping. The treaty was
signed by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, the
former West Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Three
North Sea Conferences were subsequently organised. At the first, in
1984, it was agreed that the phasing out of the use and discharge of
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) should be stepped up, that wastes including
sewage sludge, should not be dumped in the North Sea and that
specified hazardous waste should come under more stringent control.
In 1987, at the second conference, it was agreed to reduce by half discharge
of "substances that are toxic, persistent and liable to bioaccumulate"
by 1995. Restrictions on the use of marine incineration and the dumping
of sewage sludge were also agreed. At the third conference, in 1990,
the eight signatories to the original treaty and Switzerland had agreed
to stop dumping sewage sludge at sea, but the UK said it would only
phase this out by 1998.(Source: WRIGHT).
Protection Strategy (AEPS), 1991.
PAME, The Programme for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment,
was initially one of the four programmes of the Arctic Environment Protection
Strategy (AEPS) which was adopted by Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland,
Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and United States through a Ministerial
Declaration at Rovaniemi, Finland in 1991. But the PAME Working Group
was established in 1993. In 1996 AEPS was overtaken by the Arctic Council.
Other Regional Agreements
NAFTA/NACEC Resolution (3 POPs).
International Law Legal and Institutional Framework for the Protection
of the Marine Environment
"...4. International law, as reflected in the provisions of the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
and elsewhere, sets forth rights and obligations of States and provides
the international basis upon which to pursue the protection and sustainable
development of the marine and coastal environment and its resources.
5. In accordance with general international law, while States have the
sovereign right to exploit their natural resources pursuant to their environmental
policies, the enjoyment of such right shall be in accordance with the
duty to protect and preserve the marine environment. This fundamental
duty is to protect and preserve the marine environment from all sources
of pollution, including land-based activities. Of particular significance
for the Global Programme of Action are the provisions contained in articles
207 and 213 of UNCLOS.
6. Also of particular importance for the Programme of Action is the
emphasis, in parts XII, XIII and XIV of the Convention, dealing, respectively,
with protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific
research and the development and transfer of marine technology, on the
obligation of States to cooperate in the development of the marine scientific
and technological capacity of developing States and to provide them with
scientific and technical assistance.
7. The duty of States to preserve and protect the marine environment
has been reflected and elaborated upon in numerous global conventions
and regional instruments (e.g. the Convention on the
Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter;
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous
Wastes and their Disposal; Convention on Biological Diversity; United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Regional Seas Conventions;
Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78),
etc.). Innovative new principles and approaches applicable to the prevention
of the degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities
have been included in a number of such agreements.
8. In 1982, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) took the
initiative to develop advice to Governments on addressing impacts on the
marine environment from land-based activities. This initiative resulted
in the preparation of the Montreal Guidelines for the Protection of the
Marine Environment Against Pollution from Land-based Sources in 1985.
9. The duty to protect the marine environment from land-based activities
was placed squarely in the context of sustainable development by the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992..." From
the GPA, Global Program of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment
from Land Based Activities.
|Read more about Regulatory Frameworks
more about the POPs Convention and negotiations.
Chemicals -- An Overview. Provides guidance for legal and technical
experts responsible for developing national legislation on chemicals
management. It was prepared by UNEP Chemicals and UNEP Environmental
Law and Institutions -- Programme Activity Centre. Available in English,
July 1995. (pdf file)
Legal File. Database on regulations and guidelines on chemicals, available
Activities Related to Chemicals. Overview of international agreements/instruments,
organizations and programmes concerning chemicals management
(2 nd edition) Geneva, 2000. (pdf file)
Activities Related to Chemicals. Excerpts from a report on "Enhanced
coherence and efficiency among international activities related to
chemicals". UNEP Chemicals, Geneva, 1999. (pdf file)
Conventions and Protocols
relating to the marine environment (Global, Regional and National
|ECOLEX, a new source
of information on international and national environmental law sponsored
by UNEP and IUCN, The World Conservation Union:
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Information on anti-pollution regulations at sea and the prosecution
of violations thereof in the Baltic Sea Area. (pdf file)
On Ensuring Successful Convictions Of Offenders Of Anti-Pollution
Regulations At Sea. 2000. (pdf file)
of the OSPAR Convention.
of Environmental Conventions. Useful links to International Law
list of Global and Regional International Conventions, Agreements
of International Cooperation on Environment and Development 1999/2000