Multilateral Environmental Agreements
UNEP-hosted global conventions in 2015

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The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

Dubai Pathway Open/Close

Following six years of negotiations, the 197 parties agreed on the “Dubai Pathway on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)”, a plan to work within the Montreal Protocol to an amendment in 2016 to control climate-change-inducing HFCs. An HFC phase-down would avoid estimated emissions of up to 105 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050, and up to 0.4°C of warming by the end of the century.

Synthesis Report of 2014 Assessments Open/Close

The Montreal Protocol has led to the phase-out of nearly 100% of production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances globally. The Synthesis of the 2014 Reports of the Scientific, Environmental Effects, and Technology & Economic Assessment Panels of the Montreal Protocol confirmed that the ozone layer is healing.

Up to 2 million cases of skin cancer may be prevented each year by 2030. In the USA alone, 283 million cases of skin cancer may be avoided for those born between 1890 and 2100; 1.6 million deaths from skin cancer prevented; and 46 million cases of cataract prevented.

The Montreal Protocol, through halting ozone layer depletion, could save an estimated $1.8 trillion in health care costs and almost $460 billion in avoided damages to agriculture, fisheries, and materials.

30th Anniversary of the Vienna Convention Open/Close

In 2015, the world marked the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. A digital campaign organized by UNEP’s Ozone Secretariat to commemorate the milestone reached 1,346,012 people.

On average, the most-common HFCs have 2,500 times the global warming potential of CO2

Convention on Biological Diversity
Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions logos

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS)
Triple Conference of the Parties and associated scientific and technical assistance activities: Open/Close

3 carbon-neutral meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions;

1,188 participants from 171 countries and 84 non-governmental organizations;

74 Science Fair and Side Events;

73 decisions taken;

135 press articles published from 35 countries;

3 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) added to the Stockholm Convention;

1 pesticide added to the Rotterdam Convention;

9 Technical Guidelines adopted on hazardous waste streams and 3 Guidelines on Implementation under the Basel Convention.

5 Monitoring reports on POPs’ levels in the environment and humans from 5 UN regions;

1 Global Monitoring Plan Data Warehouse providing public access to global POPs data;

1,525 participants benefitted from BRS Webinars, of which 52% were female.

Convention on Migratory Species
Convention on Biological Diversity

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Open/Close

Andorra and the State of Palestine ratified the Convention in 2015, bringing the total number of Parties to 196.

168 Fifth National Reports, an important source of information for review of progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, have been completed.

184 Parties have completed National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), while 9 Parties are developing their first plans.

Connecting Global Priorities

Biodiversity and Human Health, launched in June 2015 at Green Week with the World Health Organization, drew on the expertise of over 100 scientists to detail the latest biodiversity loss.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity

13 new Parties, including Croatia and Cuba, ratified the Nagoya Protocol in 2015, bringing the total to 70.

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Côte d’Ivoire and the State of Palestine ratified the Cartagena Protocol in 2015, bringing the total number of parties to 170.

© Biosphoto / Tobias Bernhard Raff
Convention on Migratory Species

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Open/Close

Afghanistan and Brazil ratified the CMS in 2015, bringing the total number of Parties to 122.

Comoros, Iran, Israel, Croatia, Lebanon, Spain and the Syrian Arab Republic signed the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, bringing the total number to 55. Of 20 raptor species added to the Annex on this MoU, 17 were vultures, which are facing a crisis in Africa.

New Zealand signed the Memorandum on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks, bringing the total number of signatories to 39.

The 3rd Meeting of the Signatories to the Saiga MOU adopted new measures, including mitigating or removing obstacles to saiga antelope migration, undertaking anti-poaching action and strengthening wildlife health management. The CMS sent an emergency mission to investigate the deaths of over 211,000 saiga, which occurred in Kazakhstan in May 2015.

On the 25th Anniversary of the Agreement on the Conservation of Seals in the Wadden Sea, a record number of harbour seal pups were counted.

The Vienna Convention
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Open/Close

1 new Party to CITES – the European Union;

CITES-led International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) celebrated 5th anniversary;

19 Parties to CITES developed and continued to implement National Ivory Action Plans (NIAPs);

62 countries in Africa, America, Asia and Europe worked together in ICCWC-backed cross-continent initiative;

64 Notifications to the Parties sent to 181 Contracting Parties to CITES;

Operation COBRA III resulted in 139 arrests and more than 247 seizures, including elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolins, rosewood, tortoises and many other plant and animal specimens;

290 participants at 28th meeting of the CITES Animals Committee and 22nd meeting of the CITES Plants Committee;

CITES Facebook reached over 400,000 followers;

CITES Trade Database passed 15 million records;

190 million people reached in CITES-led social media campaign to celebrate World Wildlife Day 2015 on Facebook and Twitter alone.

© Robert Harding / Ann & Steve Toon