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THE GLOBAL TIGER FORUM (GTF)
The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is an inter-governmental and international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a worldwide campaign, common approach, promotion of appropriate programmes and controls to save the remaining five sub-species of tigers in the wild distributed over 14 tiger range countries of the world.
Formed in 1994 with its secretariat at New Delhi, GTF is the only inter governmental & international body campaigning to save the TIGER worldwide.
The General Assembly of GTF shall meet once in three years.

Goal:

To highlight the rationale for tiger preservation and provide leadership and common approach throughout the world in order to safeguard the survival of the tiger, its prey and its habitat.

Objectives:

  • To promote a worldwide campaign to save the tiger, its prey and its habitat;
  • To promote a legal framework in the countries involved for bio-diversity conservation;
  • To increase the protected area network of habitats of the tiger and facilitate their interpassages in the range countries;
  • To promote eco-development programmes with the participation of the communities living in and around protected areas;
  • To urge countries to enter into relevant conventions for conservation of tiger and elimination of illegal trade;
  • To promote and carry out scientific research to generate information useful for tiger, it’s prey and its habitat to disseminate such information in an easily accessible manner;
  • To promote the development and exchange among themselves , of appropriate technologies and training programmes for scientific wildlife management;
  • To encourage range countries to prepare and implement their individual action plans for protection and growth of the tiger population and its prey base. Improvement of the habitat and common preservation programme can be taken up bilaterally by the range countries having adjoining habitats, but their implementation should be carried out separately by the respective range countries.
  • To involve inter-governmental organisations in the protection of the tiger;
  • To set up a participative fund of an appropriate size to engender awareness in all places where people consume tiger derivatives for eliminating such consumption of tiger products, and identifying substitutes, in the interests of conservation.

Global Tiger Initiative

An alliance of governments, international agencies, civil society, and the private sector united to save wild tigers from extinction

Goals of GTI

  • To support capacity-building in governments for responding effectively to the transnational challenge of illegal trade in wildlife and for scientifically managing tiger landscapes in the face of mounting and varied threats;
  • To curtail international demand for tiger parts and other wildlife that has been responsible for drastic declines in tiger populations;
  • To develop mechanisms for safeguarding habitats from development through planning ‘smart, green’ infrastructure and sensitive industrial development;
  • To create innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms for tiger landscapes including protected areas;
  • To build strong local constituencies for tiger conservation through development of economic incentives and alternative livelihoods for local people;
  • To spread the recognition among governments, international aid agencies and the public that tiger habitats are high-value diverse ecosystems with the potential to provide immense benefits-both tangible and intangible

THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION ON POP
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden and entered into force on 17 May 2004,

POPs
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are organic chemical substances, that is, they are carbon-based. They possess a particular combination of physical and chemical properties such that, once released into the environment, they:

  • remain intact for exceptionally long periods of time (many years);
  • become widely distributed throughout the environment as a result of natural processes involving soil, water and, most notably, air;
  • accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms including humans, and are found at higher concentrations at higher levels in the food chain; and
  • are toxic to both humans and wildlife.

In addition, POPs concentrate in living organisms through another process called bioaccumulation. Though not soluble in water, POPs are readily absorbed in fatty tissue, where concentrations can become magnified by up to 70,000 times the background levels.

The 12 initial POPs
Initially, twelve POPs have been recognized as causing adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem and these can be placed in 3 categories:

  1. Pesticides: aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene;
  2. Industrial chemicals: hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and
  3. By-products: hexachlorobenzene; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), and PCBs.

The new POPs under the Stockholm Convention
Nine new POPs
At its fourth meeting held in 2009, the CoP adopted amendments to Annexes A, B and C to the Stockholm Convention to list nine new persistent organic pollutants.

  1. Pesticides: chlordecone, alpha hexachloro- cyclohexane, beta hexachlorocyclohexane, lindane, pentachlorobenzene;
  2. Industrial chemicals: hexabromobiphenyl, hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabro -modiphenyl ether, pentachlorobenzene, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride, tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether; and
  3. By-products: alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, beta hexachlorocyclohexane and pentachlorobenzene.

Endosulfan

At its fifth meeting held in 2011, the CoP adopted an amendment to Annex A to the Stockholm Convention to list technical endosulfan and its related isomers with a specific exemption.

BASEL CONVENTION
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad.

Objective
To protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of wastes defined as “other wastes” -household waste and incinerator ash.

Principal aims:

  • The reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal;
  • the restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management; and
  • a regulatory system applying to cases where transboundary movements are permissible.

Waste under the Basel Convention
Wastes are substances or objects which are disposed of or

are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law.

Annex
Annex I of the Convention, as further clarified in Annexes VIII and IX, lists those wastes that are classified as hazardous and subject to the control procedures under the Convention.

Annex II of the Convention identifies those wastes that require special consideration (known as “other wastes”, and which primarily refer to household wastes).
Examples of wastes regulated by the Basel Convention

  • Biomedical and healthcare wastes
  • Used oils
  • Used lead acid batteries
  • Persistant Organic Pollutant wastes (POPs wastes),
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs),
  • Thousands of chemical wastes generated by industries and other consumers

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION

  • It was adopted in 1998 by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and entered into force on 24 February 2004.
  • The Convention creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. It built on the voluntary PIC procedure, initiated by UNEP and FAO in 1989 and ceased on 24 February 2006.
  • The Convention covers pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by Parties and which have been notified by Parties for inclusion in the PIC procedure.

Objectives:

  • To promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm;
  • To contribute to the environmentally sound use of those hazardous chemicals, by facilitating information exchange about their characteristics, by providing for
    a national decision-making process on their import and export and by disseminating these decisions to Parties.

Annex III Chemicals

  • The chemicals listed in Annex III include pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by two or more Parties and which the Conference of the Parties has decided to subject to the PIC procedure.
  • There are a total of 43 chemicals listed in Annex III, 32 are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 11 industrial chemicals.

One notification from each of two specified regions triggers consideration of addition of a chemical to Annex III of the Convention. Severely hazardous pesticide formulations that present a risk under conditions of use in developing countries or countries with economies in transition may also be proposed for inclusion in Annex III.

UNCCD

  • Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
  • The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.
  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is one of the Rio Conventions that focuses on desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD).
  • ‘Desertification’ as defined in the UNCCD refers to land degradation in the drylands (arid, semi arid and dry sub humid regions) resulting from various factors and does not connote spread or expansion of deserts.
  • UNCCD with 194 Parties is a unique instrument that recognises land degradation as an important factor affecting some of the most vulnerable people and ecosystems in the world.
  • The convention aims at adaption and can, on implementation, significantly contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as sustainable development and poverty reduction by means of arresting and reversing land degradation.
  • The convention promotes sustainable land management (SLM) as solution to global challenges. Land degradation is long-term loss of ecosystem function and productivity caused by disturbances from which the land cannot recover unaided. While Sustainable Land Management is focused on changes in land cover/land use in order to maintain and enhance ecosystems functions and services.

INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION

  • The International Whaling Commission is the global intergovernmental body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling with headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • It was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which was signed in Washington DC on 2nd December 1946

Preamble
To provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.

  • Main duty
  • To keep under review and revise as necessary the measures laid down in the Schedule to the Convention which govern the conduct of whaling throughout the world.
  • These measures, among other things, provide for the complete protection of certain species; designate specified areas as whale sanctuaries; set limits on the numbers and size of whales which may be taken; prescribe open and closed seasons and areas for whaling; and prohibit the capture of suckling calves and female  whales accompanied by calves.
  • The compilation of catch reports and other statistical and biological records is also required.
  • In 1986 the Commission introduced zero catch limits for commercial whaling. This provision is still in place today, although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.
  • As well as keeping whale catch limits under review, the Commission works to promote the recovery of depleted whale populations by addressing a range of specific issues. These include ship strikes, entanglement events, environmental concerns and establishing protocols for whale watching.
The document International Environmental Convention - 4 | Environment for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course Environment for UPSC CSE.
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FAQs on International Environmental Convention - 4 - Environment for UPSC CSE

1. What is the purpose of an International Environmental Convention?
Ans. An International Environmental Convention is a legally binding agreement among countries to address specific environmental issues on a global scale. Its purpose is to establish international cooperation, set common goals, and implement measures to protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and mitigate climate change.
2. How are International Environmental Conventions enforced?
Ans. International Environmental Conventions are enforced through various mechanisms. These may include monitoring and reporting systems to assess compliance with the agreed objectives and targets, establishing national legislation and regulations to implement the convention's provisions, and promoting international cooperation through capacity-building initiatives and financial assistance.
3. What are some examples of International Environmental Conventions?
Ans. Some examples of International Environmental Conventions include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
4. How do International Environmental Conventions contribute to sustainable development?
Ans. International Environmental Conventions contribute to sustainable development by integrating environmental considerations into development policies and decision-making processes. They promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, support the transition to clean and renewable energy sources, and encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly practices in various sectors such as agriculture, industry, and transportation.
5. How can individuals contribute to the implementation of International Environmental Conventions?
Ans. Individuals can contribute to the implementation of International Environmental Conventions by adopting sustainable lifestyle choices such as reducing energy consumption, recycling, and using public transportation. They can also raise awareness about environmental issues, support organizations working towards environmental conservation, and engage in advocacy for stronger environmental policies and regulations at the local, national, and international levels.
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