Chapter 12: INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS


Agenda 21  




The comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken at global, national and local levels. It was the outcome of the UN Convention on Environment and Development. The number 21 refers to the agenda for the 21st century. The local agenda 21 was the to be implemented at the local body level.

Convention on biological diversity: CBD

It is a legally binding convention for conservation of biodiversity. It also allows for sustainable use of resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits obtained out of genetic research.

The Cartegena protocol on biosafety
was to implement the CBD. It recognized the importance of protecting human health and environment from the adverse effects of biotechnology products. It has rules to ensure safe handling, transfer and use of living modified organisms arising out of biotechnology. Nagoya protocol on Fair and equitable sharing of benefits out of genetic research too was implemented to ensure achievement of one objective o CBD.

The Aichi biodiversity targets [2011-2020] were proposed to reduce the damage to biodiversity at all levels and to contribute to benefit of all life on Earth. The Strategic goals where to address underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society; Reduce direct pressure on biodiversity and promote sustainable use; To safeguard all ecosystems; Enhance benefits to all from biodiversity.

Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol




The Vienna convention was created for protection of ozone layer from depletion. However it wasn't a legally binding treaty with targets and so the Montreal protocol was framed. This protocol wanted to phase out all ozone depleting substances like chloro-flouro carbons etc from production and use.Countries were given financial incentives to chalk out and implement strategies to move towards newer eco-friendly technologies.


Globally important agriculture heritage systems




Food and agriculture organization of the UN recognizes GIAHS as regions having globally significant biodiversity and remarkable land use where a community has adapted its production processes of agriculture to suit the ecology of the regions. India has two such regions in Odissa and Kerela. In kerela the farmers are using a technique perfected over 150 years to grow rice and other crops in sea water.


UN Convention to Combat desertification




Signed in 1994 as a legally binding procedure for sustainable land use. The participation of local communities is encouraged here due to the bottom up approach. Desertification here means land degradation in dryland areas and not expansion of deserts. The aim of the convention is to combat desertification and in turn help in achieving Millenium development goals, sustainable development and poverty reduction.


Ramsar Convention on Wetlands




Initial material on Ramsar convention can be read here -->Ramsar Convention.


It is an inter government treaty on conservation of wetlands. The main pillars of the convention are land use planning for proper  and sustainable use of wetlands, designate suitable sites on the Ramsar list and coordinate internationally for shared wetlands systems. India has 26 sites in the list [2012] and is actively involved in their conservation. Any threatened site is put under Montreaux record where a team is setup for advise on its conservation. India joined this convention in 1981.

Kyoto Protocol



It places binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of Green house gases.

UNFCCC signatories come every year to organize a Conference of Parties, where they discuss strategies to combat climate change.

Annex I are developed nations which have binding targets.

Annex II are the subgroups in the developed nations that have to support developing countries by providing funds.

Annex A are the GHG like Carbon dioxide, CFC, Sulfur hexafluoride, Nitrous oxide, Perfluorocarbons.

Target given to developed countries was to reduce emissions to 5% below 1990's levels by 2008-2012. However US and Canada did not accept this as they wanted even developing nations to bear emission cuts.






Q.With reference to ‘Global Climate Change Alliance’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is an initiative of the European Union.
2. It provides technical and financial support to targeted developing countries to integrate climate change into their development policies and budgets.
3. It is coordinated by World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Select the correct answer using the code given below: (UPSC CSAT 2017)


  1. 1 and 2 only


  2. 3 only


  3. 2 and 3 only


  4. 1, 2 and 3



Ans . A


  1. EuropeAid (DG for International Cooperation and Development) drives and oversees the overall implementation of the GCCA


Q.Consider the following statements:
1. Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a unique initiative of G20 group of countries.
2. The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2017)


  1. 1 only


  2. 2 only


  3. Both 1 and 2


  4. Neither 1 nor 2



Ans . B


  1. CCAC was formed in 2012 by UNEP and Ghana, Bangladesh etc. countries.

  2. They focus on Short Lived Climate Pollutants such as methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.






Q.BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes’ is managed by the (UPSC CSAT 2015)


  • Asian Development Bank


  • International Monetary Fund


  • United Nations Environment Programme


  • World Bank



Ans . D


  1. The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) is a multilateral fund, supported by donor governments and managed by the World Bank.



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