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Global and transboundary frameworks

The complexity and scale of the problems deriving from an increasing demand for food, energy and infrastructure in a world threatened by climate change create a new set of challenges for nature conservation that indeed require coordinated responses between sovereign States. Increased knowledge and understanding of the biosphere and its components have revealed that environmental problems have a global and multidimensional character.

About global and transboundary frameworks

Overcoming national borders can be a challenge in itself, as borders represent limits on maps but also different boundaries in terms of political regimes, legal systems, conservation methods, and sometimes conflicting States relations.

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700+

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multilateral environmental agreements currently in force.

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50%

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of these agreements contain provisions linked to the conservation of nature, biodiversity and ecosystems through the creation of protected areas.

What are global and transboundary frameworks

Agreements on transboundary cooperation and coordination encourage the efficient use and development of resources, promote equitable distribution, and facilitate partnerships and cooperation between countries, helping them to avoid future disputes.

They can be treaties and conventions as signed and ratified by two or more States; or they can be other types of agreements between institutions across borders working at the national, sub-national and/or local level. A multi-level governance framework made up of treaties and other types of agreements provides for more effective governance.

Increased knowledge and understanding of the biosphere and its components have revealed that environmental problems have a global and multidimensional character. Environmental impacts and effects have no boundaries. As a result, there is increasing recognition of the need for collective international action and for transboundary governance of shared resources.

More and more States now accept that holistic international efforts are required to address the various aspects of environmental degradation, including freshwater and marine pollution, depletion of living resources, the ozone layer and climate change. Without international regulation, particularly for areas beyond national jurisdictions, shared natural resources are vulnerable, becoming exhausted as each State seeks to maximize its own benefit.

International cooperation is required to prevent this state of affairs, and therefore the general international obligation to cooperate must be applied to shared resources.
The need to treat natural system as a single ecological unit require that States cooperate in the conservation, management, and restoration of resources located in areas under the jurisdiction of more than one, or fully or partly in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdictions.

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A multiplicity of agreements is needed for effective governance of transboundary resources, including
intergovernmental treaties, but also a wide variety of formal and informal agreements.

International Conference Side Event

Kristina Gjerde

The process of achieving cooperation through negotiating agreements can be difficult because of legal, physical, economic, and social disparities between States. Because of this and other factors governance of shared resources is very complex.

Around the world, there are approximately 700 multilateral environmental agreements currently in force. At least 50% of these agreements contain provisions linked to the conservation of nature, biodiversity and ecosystems through the creation of protected areas.
These agreements can be reflected in legal instruments called conventions, treaties and protocols. These agreements can be global, regional, sub-regional and bi-national in approach and interact with each other.

States design, negotiate and adopt international agreements to secure norms and principles for environmental conservation. These agreements guide the development of instruments at regional, transboundary and bi-national level and can inspire the development of national legislation.
In addition, international environmental agreements are tools to guide the effective management of shared natural resources. But international agreements should not be applied in isolation. These agreements interact with each other and should be implemented in tandem, looking at the synergies and complementarities between them in terms of parties, objectives, and means of implementation.

IGC side event 2019
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