Environmental Conventions and Protocols [Free PDF]

By Abhishek Jain |Updated : June 9th, 2022

Hello Students, In this article, we are providing you with the complete list of environmental conventions and protocols which are relevant for all UPPCS and other state PCS examinations. You can also download the PDF of these notes from the direct link given below in the article.


Environmental Conventions and Protocols Notes


Year of establishment



Ramsar Convention


for the conservation and sustainable

utilization of wetlands

·         Known as Waterfowl convention.

·         India is part of it.

·         There are currently 27 Ramsar sites

·         in India

Stockholm Declaration


International protection of the environment

·         UNEP was the result of it.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild flora

and fauna (CITES)


Control or prevent international commercial trade in endangered

species or products derived from them.

·         Known as Washington Convention

·         Legally binding

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)


Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

·         Also known as the Bonn Convention

·         It is under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Nairobi Declaration


for achieving sustainable developments

·         10th anniversary of Stockholm)

Vienna convention


for the protection of the ozone layer

·         It does not include legally

binding reduction goals

Montreal Protocol


To control Ozone-depleting Substances

·         It is a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer

·          Universal treaty (Ratified by all UN countries)

·         Legally binding

·         Target only ozone depleting substances (Not GHG i.e. Hydro Fluorocarbons)

Brundtland Report


Sustainable Development

·         gave the concept of "sustainable development"

Earth Summit/ United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)/ Rio Declaration


Environment conservation & Development

·         It had 27 principles

·         Three legally binding agreements were opened for                    signature:
          (i) CBD
          (ii) UNFCC
          (iii) UNCCD

Agenda 21


Sustainable Development

·         It is a product of Earth Summit, 1992

·         Agenda 21 refers to the 21st Century.

·         Non-binding



Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.

·         Environmental treaty produced at the Earth Summit,                1992.

·         Secretariat: Bonn, Germany

·         legally non-binding

·         Kyoto Protocol was negotiated under this framework.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)


Three main goals:

1. Conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);

2. Sustainable use of its components;

3. Sharing the benefits of genetic resources fairly and equitably

·         Legally binding

·         USA has signed but not ratified

·         The two protocols to CBD are:
          (a) Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, 2000
          (b) Nagoya Protocol (Biodiversity Accord), 2010



Convention to Combat Desertification

·         Headquarter: Bonn, Germany

·         Only convention that came out from direct                                recommendations of Rio Agenda 21

·         Legally Binding

·         Canada withdrew

Kyoto Protocol (COP 3)


to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse

gas concentrations

·         Negotiated under UNFCC

·         Came into force in 2005

·         Binding targets to Annex I countries

·         Mechanisms under protocol:
          (a) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
          (b) Emission Trading
          (c) Joint Implementation (JI)

·         This protocol applies to follow GHGs (Annex A):
          (a) Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
          (b) Methane (CH4)
          (c) Nitrous Oxide (NO2)
          (d) Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6)
          (e) Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
          (f) Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

·        The Protocol is based on the principle of shared (Common) but differentiated responsibilities.

·        It places the obligation on developed countries to reduce current emissions on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

·         Annex I countries: industrialized countries and economies in transition

·         Annex II countries: developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries

·         Non-Annex I countries: Developing countries

·         India is Non-Annex party to UNFCC.

·         There are two commitment periods
          (i) 2008 – 2012
          (ii) 2013 – 2020

Note: The second commitment period was agreed on in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment to the protocol.

Rotterdam Convention


Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous

Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade

·         UN Treaty

Cartagena Protocol



·        Protecting biological diversity from potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.

Stockholm Convention


Eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants

·         UN Treaty

·         US is not a party to this treaty

·         Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) and the International Programme for Chemical Safety

(IPCS) prepared a list, known as the Dirty Dozen.



Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries

·         Negotiated under UNFCC since 2005.

·         UN-REDD was launched in 2008. India did not participate in it.

·         REDDD+ (Defined in Bali Action Plan, 2007, CoP13)

·         REDD+ extends to
         (a) Sustainable Forest Management
         (b) Conservation of Forests
         (c) Enhancement of carbon sinks

Nagoya Protocol


Access to genetic resources and a fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use of the Convention on Biological Diversity

·         It is a supplementary agreement to the CBD.



Conference on Sustainable Development

·         20th Anniversary of Rio Earth Summit 1992.

Paris Agreement (COP 21)


Climate Change

·         It will come into force by 2020.

·         Not legally binding.


  • This century, global temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius above circa-industrial level.
  • Pursue efforts to limit the temperature upsurge even further to 5 degrees Celsius.

Indian NDCs

·         Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP- by 33 to 35 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

·        By 2030, 40 percent of its energy would be generated from non-fossil fuels.

·         Increase its forest cover to create an additional carbon sink equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.

Note: Recently the US has withdrawn from it.

Kigali Amendment


Reduce Ozone Layer Depletion

·         It amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

·         Its aims to reduce Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by roughly 80-85 Percent by late 2045.

·         It will be binding on member countries from 2019.

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