INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS & TREATIES
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides.
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Pakistan
Minamata Convention on Mercury
Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol
Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Secretariat
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty adopted on 9 May 1992 and opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. It then entered into force on 21 March 1994, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified it. UNFCCC objective is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. Pakistan signed it on 13th June, 1992 and ratified it on 1st June, 1994. The convention has been ratified by 197 member countries including Pakistan. Pakistan is Non-Annex-I party to the UNFCCC therefore there are no obligations for compliance.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which commits Annex-I parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and it is extremely likely that CO2 emissions have predominantly caused it. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. Pakistan ratified it on 11th January, 2005. The Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. A second commitment period was agreed on in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.
The Paris Agreement (PA) is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. The aim of PA is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 0C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 0C by the end of century. Pakistan ratified it in November, 2016. The salient features of PA are as under:
- To limit the global average temperature increase to below 2 degrees with the aim for reaching to 1.5 degrees
- Divided between developed and developing countries diluted – common but differentiated responsibilities not as strongly anchored as it used to be
- Shift in approach to build the mitigation actions based on the domestic actions taken by the countries
- Nationally determined contributions to play the key role in meeting the ambition and targets set out in the Agreement
Enhanced support mechanism established
Pakistan ratified the UNCBD on 26.7.1994 with the following objectives
- Sustainable use and
Equitable sharing of benefits arising out of utilization of biological resources
This protocol was ratified on 21.2.2016; its objective is to ensure the fair and
equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Pakistan ratified the CCD on 24.2.1997 with the following objectives:
- Combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through effective action at all levels.
ii. Achieving this objective will involve long-term integrated strategies on improved productivity of land, and the rehabilitation, conservation and sustainable management of land and water resources
Pakistan ratified the CITES on 20.4.1976; the convention has the following objectives
- To ensure that international trade in specimen of wild animals & plants does not threaten their survival
ii. To prevent international trade in specimens included in Appendices – I, II & III, except in accordance with the provisions of the convention
Pakistan ratified CMS in December, 1997. The agreement has the following objectives
- To conserve terrestrial, marine & avian species over the whole of their migratory range.
ii. To conserve migratory species within range states and managed through the joint action for their mutual benefit
Pakistan ratified the RAMSAR Convention on 23.7.1976; the agreement has the following objectives
- To stop the loss of wetlands and to ensure their conservation and wise use;
- Designate wetlands of international importance as Ramsar Sites
iii. Parties to formulate wetland policies
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement which aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity and human health
Pakistan ratified the Protocol in 2001 and became party to the Biosafety protocol.