This day is celebrated on 26 November every year to raise global awareness of the need to take positive actions to protect environment. This event is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Past three decades, it is realised that protecting the global environment is one of the major challenges across the globe. More than ten global environment treaties and few hundreds of regional and bilateral agreements are laid down. This took the synergy at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED or the Earth Summit) held in Rio de Janeiro. This was the turning point for international environmental policy. There were two critical concerns taken up by the nations, which are environmental protection and economic development. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was also established with aim to integrate environment and development into the UN system.
Agreements of World Environment Protection Day
The natural resources on earth are vulnerable to many human impacts. This resulted into signing of agreements by multiple governments to prevent damage done by human activity on natural resources. These agreements are in place starting as early as 1910 in Europe, America and Africa. Most important multinational agreements include the Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol and Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Now days, Germany and other European Countries are taking the lead in adopting new regulatory principles like ecological taxes, and the proactive approaches to avoid probable environmental damage.
The Kyoto Protocol aimed to reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions an average of 5% from 1990 levels by 2012 developed countries.
The Montreal Protocol aimed at banning the production and use of most ozone-depleting substances. In 1998, in Montreal, the global convention to eliminate twelve of the world’s chemical contaminants was established.
UN Environment Program (UNEP)
The UNEP is the primary international environmental agency with the mission to facilitate international cooperation to review the world environmental condition and to realise the significance of applying and exchange environmental knowledge. During 1997 speech of the UN General Assembly, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl suggested to amend the UN Charter to include sustainable development as one the prime purpose of the UN and to establish a global coverage of environmental organizations, with UNEP with the centre focus.
Environmental Protection integrated with the Global Economy
It is needed that there should be integration of environmental concerns into the fields of international trade for sustainable development. Now there are legal laws on environmental issues laid and followed by organizations such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. The World Bank has adopted new environmental policies and ramped up the staff.
The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) emphasizes on mitigating environmental impacts from human activities.
The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has taken the approach of declaring that it would not finance any projects are not compliant with certain international environmental obligations, such as projects that use ozone-depleting substances governed by the Montreal Protocol.
The markets for environmental investments are blooming. The Kyoto protocol requires a reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized nations, which in turn create a huge new market for renewable energy technologies, popularly known as Green technologies.
Various environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) addresses international issues, specifically in developing countries. The International Finance Corporation has created an office where citizens can raise voice for environmental problems.
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