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International Conventions

Item Agenda 21 - United Nations Sustainable Development

Item Convention on Biological Diversity - The objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from commercial and other utilization of genetic resources. The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources.

Item Convention to Combat Desertification - Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world's land area, are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing, and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the land's productivity. Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification. In addition, some one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk. These people include many of the world's poorest, most marginalized, and politically weak citizens. Combating desertification is essential to ensuring the long-term productivity of inhabited drylands. Unfortunately, past efforts have too often failed, and around the world the problem of land degradation continues to worsen. Recognizing the need for a fresh approach, 179 governments have joined as of March 2002, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. This Convention aims to promote effective action through innovative local programmes and supportive international partnerships. The treaty acknowledges that the struggle to protect drylands will be a long one - there will be no quick fix. This is because the causes of desertification are many and complex, ranging from international trade patterns to unsustainable land management practices. Real and difficult changes will have to be made, both at the international and the local levels.

Item International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (FAO)

Item United States signs International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture - ROME, 6 November 2002 -- The United States has added its signature to an International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources which aims to ensure better use of genetic diversity to meet the challenge of eradicating world hunger, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Wednesday. The US joins the 76 other countries and the European Union, who have signed the Treaty since it was adopted exactly a year ago by the FAO Conference. The United States, along with Japan, was one of two countries who had originally abstained from voting on the Treaty, approved with 116 votes. "I understand that this signing is a kind of reversal from what we said just about a year ago," Tony P. Hall, US Ambassador to FAO, said as he added his signature. "But we have seen the wisdom of the Treaty and are very glad to sign it," he added. States that have signed the Treaty may now ratify it. Other states may now accede to the Treaty directly, without needing to first sign it.
Item Convention on Climate Change
Item CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - The aim of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is to ensure that international trade in species and specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Item Ramsar Convention - The Convention on Wetlands (known popularly as the Ramsar Convention) provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The convention covers all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use, recognizing wetlands as ecosystems that are extremely important for biodiversity conservation in general and for the well-being of human communities.
Item CMS -The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as the CMS or the Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. Parties to the CMS work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for endangered migratory species, by concluding multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species, and by undertaking co-operative research activities.
Item WHC - The primary mission of the World Heritage Convention (WHC) is to identify and conserve the world's cultural and natural heritage, by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding values should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through a closer co-operation among nations.

Item All FAO Conventions (Food and Agriculture Organizations)

TRIPS Agreements - World Trade Organization (WTOTrade Related Intellectual Property Agreements - Organisation Mondiale du Commerce (OMC) Propriété intellectuelle (ADPIC)
Item Agora21: Environnement and Biodiversity Related Conventions -
- les ressources locales :
biodiversité, la forêt et l’eau
- des milieux spécifiques :
montagnes, îles, océans et mers,
- des problèmes  mondiaux : 
couche d’ozone, climat, énergie
- les déséquilibres locaux  :
désertification, déboisement, érosion des sols
- les pollutions transfrontalières atmosphériques
- les pollutions locales :
déchets,  air, produits toxiques

CBD Clearing Houses

Item Centre d'Echange français pour la Convention sur la diversité biologique

Item Belgian Clearing-House under the Convention on Biological Diversity

US vs. UN Environmental and Biodiversity Conventions

The Climate Talks Project - The Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values - 2001-2002  - An Inter-University Platform to Foster Scientifically Informed Decision Making and Public Awareness on Emerging Climate Issues - Official negotiations to reach a worldwide climate agreement have come to a standstill as far as the United States is concerned. Meetings in November 2000 in the Hague, Netherlands adjourned without binding governmental commitments, and the administration in Washington, D.C., announced that the United States would not sign or support the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions.  Since then, European governments have reached a measure of accord with other countries around the world, but the country providing the largest single contribution to global atmospheric carbon emissions has declined to join with other countries to commit to reducing those emissions. Despite stalemate on this issue within the United States government there is a growing sense of urgency that something must be done.  It is now clear that global climate change will affect the entire human community, engendering large scale and profound adjustments in human social, economic and political organization in the years and decades ahead.  For this reason responsible scientists and informed citizens in the United States are recognizing the urgency of fashioning new mechanisms to foster open discussion and inform public understanding of global climate issues.
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