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  Environmental Policy Issues

Global Environmental Governance
(Released August 2005)

 

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  1. Environment and statecraft: the strategy of environmental treaty-making

    Scott Barrett.

    Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, 360 pp.

    Develops a theory of how states can cooperate in protecting their shared environmental resources--one that explains the success of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and provides lessons for future environmental agreements. Describe how the fur seal was saved from extinction by the North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty of 1911 and explains why the treaty succeeded. Introduces transnational cooperation dilemmas. Examines games with multiple equilibria. Considers customary rights and responsibilities. Explains why custom is needed, how it is determined, how it can be changed, and the role of custom in international treaty negotiations. Describes how international environmental agreements are negotiated; explains how the process of treaty negotiation affects treaty outcomes; and examines important features of international environmental agreements. Studies the treaty participation game. Examines the Montreal Protocol. Discusses tipping treaties and the strategic choice of a minimum participation clause. Investigates the incentives for compliance, the mechanisms needed to enforce compliance, and the strategy of reciprocity. Analyzes a trade-off between the depth and breadth of international cooperation. Explores the use of trade restrictions as an instrument for deterring noncooperation. Considers the side payments game. Develops a theory of treaty making to help practitioners and uses it to analyze global climate change negotiations and the Kyoto Protocol. Barrett is a professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Index.

  2. The Convention to Combat Desertification and the role of innovative policy-making discourses: the case of Burkina Faso

    Hans Bruyninckx.

    Global Environmental Politics, 2004, 4, 3, Aug, 107-127

    Examines participation, decentralization, and local knowledge discourses in CCD policy on reducing soil erosion; presents field research from Yatenga province and city of Ouahigouya.

  3. International conservation treaties, poverty and development: the case of CITES

    Barnabas Dickson.

    Overseas Development Institute, January 2002

    Discusses the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), designed to protect wild species from threat posed by trade, and remaining uncertainties about trade measures' effectiveness as a conservation tool and their potential for poverty reduction; since 1973.

  4. Marine environment protection under regional conventions: limits to the contribution of procedural norms

    David M. Dzidzornu.

    Ocean development and international law, Vol. 33, No. 3-4, Jul-Dec 2002. pp, 263-316.

    Regional marine environment protection regimes prescribe specific procedural norms according to which participants are expected to implement the obligations the regimes impose. These norms include the broad requirement of cooperation per se to undergird the carrying out of all obligations. Cooperation is thus the framework within which participants are required to determine and observe the obligation to apply the best available techniques and best environmental practices, and to institute substantive monitoring and reporting practices. The prescriptive content of these norms reflects social, economic, and other interests at the base of participants' utilization of the marine area and its resources. As such, their expected observance of the requirements would hardly evidence unconditional commitment to the ideal of marine environment protection. Rather, it is an effort to balance that ideal against economic and other interests, the pursuit of which constitutes the raison d'Ítre of the normative obligations. The balancing effort is aided by a regime's internal international institution, where such an institution is sufficiently endowed legally and materially to facilitate the process through supervising the observance of the monitoring and reporting obligations.; Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

  5. The outer limits of the continental shelf: African States and the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention

    Edwin Egede.

    Ocean development and international law, Vol. 35, No. 2, Apr-Jun 2004. pp, 157-178.

    African coastal states parties to the Law of the Sea Convention 1982 (LOSC) are faced with the challenge of complying with their international obligation therein. This article is an overview of African states' compliance with the LOSC as regards the outer limits of the continental shelf. It also seeks to pinpoint the shortcomings of these states in complying with the LOSC provisions on the outer limits of the continental shelf and the problems faced or likely to be faced by them in this regard.; Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

  6. Practising 'biodiversity' in Guinea: nature, nation and an international convention

    James Fairhead and Melissa Leach.

    Oxford development studies, Vol. 31, No. 4, Dec 2003. pp, 427-439.

    Biodiversity has become a central organizing concept both in international environmental debate and among government departments, donors and non-governmental organizations in the Republic of Guinea. This article explores how international imperatives around biodiversity are articulating with existing and historically-shaped practices of science and policy in Guinea, and the extent to which villagers' perspectives gain or fail to gain influence and authority. At least four sets of science and policy practices currently characterize biodiversity conservation practices, including: (1) the listing of plant and animal species; (2) the exploration of ecosystem dynamics through 'cutting edge' computer modelling techniques; (3) the harnessing of traditional plant medicines, linked with discussion of biopiracy; and (4) the promotion of 'semi-wild' plants, such as oil palm. Each set of practices involves different social relations and funding of science, different international networks and different political discourses, while each also carries wider importance in shaping national and local social categories and identities. A common feature is that the framing and institutional/funding imperatives linked to international biodiversity debates have promoted practices that reproduce western, colonial distinctions between nature and culture in ways which compromise attempts at 'participatory' conservation.; Reprinted by permission of Carfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis Ltd.

  7. Multi-generation health risks of persistent organic pollution in the far north: use of the precautionary approach in the Stockholm Convention

    A. Godduhn and L. K. Duffy.

    Environ.Sci.& Policy, Vol. 6, No. 4, Aug 2003. pp, 341-353.

    Precautionary regulation of persistent, toxic substances is controversial because of continued and irresolvable uncertainties in ecotoxicology. This is especially an issue for people who eat wild food, still a common practice in the Arctic. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been shown to interfere with hormone function and genetic regulation. In animal studies, myriad dysfunctions can be induced (manifested later in life) by low-dose POPs exposure during development. The ubiquity of POPs in biological tissue makes all organisms subject to developmental exposure. The Arctic, where subsistence living is common, is a sink region for POPs. To curtail bioaccumulation and biomagnification, the United Nations has created the Stockholm Convention in May 2001, which targets 12 chemicals for virtual elimination. Using the precautionary approach, the treaty also enables the listing of new targets as threats are recognized. The "dirty dozen" are well-documented developmental toxics and other POPs are expected to exhibit similar patterns of accumulation and harm. Arctic peoples insist that waiting for irrefutable evidence is poor planning. Nevertheless, the United States, a major signatory, has proved reluctant to ratify the language that would enable this expedient listing of new targets. Such reluctance allows health threats in the Arctic and around the world to grow. This paper reviews the theoretical background for and current evidence regarding the global issues of endocrine disruption and POPs contamination, especially as they relate to wildlife and people in the far north. It is concluded that there is an urgent need for the US to ratify the full text of the Stockholm Convention, including the provision for the listing of new targets.

  8. Deep Seabed Mining under the Law of the Sea Convention and the Implementation Agreement: Developing Country Perspectives

    Allan G. Kirton and Stephen C. Vasciannie.

    Social and Economic Studies, Vol. 51, No. 2, June 2002 2002. pp, 63-115.

    At the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, most of the particularly contentious negotiations on the deep seabed turned on the different levels of development among State participants. From an early stage in the deliberations, developing countries advocated solutions in keeping with the proposed New International Economic Order, while developed countries preferred solutions that would broadly acknowledge their financial and technological advantages. The resulting Part XI of the Law of the Sea Convention, which sought to reconcile these divergent State positions, was, however, to prove unsatisfactory to most Western industrialized countries; and, consequently, Part XI was amended by the 1994 Implementation Agreement concerning Part XI of the Convention. Although aspects of the regime for the deep seabed, as amended by the Implementation Agreement, still incorporate certain developing country concerns, the revised regime concedes substantial influence and authority to developed countries.

  9. Canada ratifies the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: at last

    Ted L. McDorman.

    Ocean development and international law, Vol. 35, No. 2, Apr-Jun 2004. pp, 103-114.

  10. The transboundary EIA convention in the context of private sector operations co-financed by an international financial institution: two case studies from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan

    Mehrdad M. Nazari.

    Environ.Impact Assess.Rev., Vol. 23, No. 4, Jul 2003. pp, 441-452.

  11. International Environmental Treaty Engagement in 19 Democracies

    Steven P. Recchia.

    The Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2002. pp, 470-494.

    This study examines the regular pattern of involvement of 19 democratic states in relation to 15 international environmental treaties over the past 20 years. An attempt is made to understand what accounts for the international environmental engagement of democratic states through an empirical evaluation of four theories, specifically structural conditions, political institutions, idea-based, & international connectivity theory. Rather than case study analysis or an evaluation of a single country or theory, the value of the study is its comparative statistical evaluation of multiple indicators of four rival theories across 19 countries. Empirical findings reveal that the strongest causal forces underlying collaborative democratic state behavior are the citizenry's postmaterial orientations & executive-centered political institutions. International environmental commitments among democracies are constructed by the cultural composition of the polity & institutional rules that centralize ratification procedures, rather than by structural conditions & international forces. The study thus corroborates the idea-based theory's emphasis on the underlying values of the citizenry & the institutional theory's emphasis on domestic policy processes. 3 Tables, 2 Appendixes, 49 References. Adapted from the source document.

  12. Who ratifies environmental treaties and why? institutionalism, structuralism and participation by 192 nations in 22 treaties

    J. Timmons Roberts.

    2004

    Analyzes theoretical explanations for states' decisions about participation in international environmental policy; 1946-99.

  13. Ratifying Global Toxics Treaties: The United States Must Provide Leadership

    Kristin S. Schafer.

    SAIS Review, Vol. 22, No. 1, winter-spring 2002. pp, 169-176.

    Problems with current US policy toward the adoption of international agreements that provide controls on the trade of highly toxic chemicals are addressed. An overview of various agreements that limit or eliminate the international trade of persistent organic pollutants (ie, DDT & dieldrin) is presented. Although the Bush administration has demonstrated strong support for such agreements, several factors that may prevent the state from ratifying these treaties are identified. Specifically, it is argued that some US industries continue to use significant amounts of certain toxic chemicals & that the US state opposes the inclusion of "precautionary principles" into such agreements that may preclude future scientific research. Measures that must be undertaken in order to meet the Bush administration's goal of implementing these agreements by late 2002 are discussed, eg, the international community's creation of implementation standards for each ratifying nation. J. W. Parker.

  14. Participation of developing countries in a climate change convention protocol

    Brett Simpson.

    Asia Pac.J.Environ.Law, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2002. pp, 39-74.

    The United States' decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol was largely based on the contention that it is not appropriate for it to undertake quantified commitments in respect of greenhouse gas emissions limitations while developing countries, despite their growing greenhouse gas emissions, do not do so. This paper examines the concept of developing country involvement in greenhouse gas emissions limitation. Both ethical and practical issues are reviewed, alternative approaches are considered, and a possible refocussing of effort is suggested.; Reprinted by permission of Kluwer Academic Publishers

  15. The uncertain fate of the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic treaty in the maritime area

    Kevin R. Wood.

    Ocean development and international law, Vol. 34, No. 2, Apr-Jun 2003. pp, 139-159.

    The objective of the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty is to provide a comprehensive regime for the protection of the Antarctic environment and to preserve its value as an area for scientific research. Some Treaty nations have interpreted the reach of the Protocol to be limited with respect to the marine environment. Important environmental safeguards have not been enacted in this area, casting the effectiveness of the Protocol into doubt. This paper examines three artifacts of regime design leading to the Protocol's uncertain fate in the Antarctic maritime area and makes several recommendations for improved effectiveness.; Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

  16. Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage: Some Current Threats to the International Convention System

    Chao Wu.

    Spill Sci.Technol.Bull., Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2002. pp, 105-112.

    The carriage of oil is indispensable to the industrialized nations. In this respect, the carriage of oil is undertaken as a service to society as a whole with its individual members deriving benefits from its carriage to varying degrees. Consequently, after examining the four Conventions in the international system of compensation for oil pollution from ships, it is argued that the general citizenship of those nations pay, in exceptional cases, for a small share of the risk, which is created in part by the citizens, as users of oil. The paper proposes the creation of a fund of last resort that could be conceived either at a regional level or a national level and financed through (indirect) taxation on the population as a whole. This type of fund could have a wider use in the field of marine pollution and protection of marine resources.

  17. Lessons from Stockholm: evaluating the global convention on persistent organic pollutants

    Andrew J. Yoder.

    In.J.Global Legal Stud., Vol. 10, No. 2, 2003. pp, 113-156.