What areMultilateral Environmental Agreements?
Earth system has observed various changes due to increasing human
changes have negative impacts on the life-support functions of the planet
and on human well-being. Many
countries are faced with global environmental problems and they have
agreed to take joint actions to address the impacts.
of the method adopted by countries to work together on global
environmental issues are through international agreements known as
Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEAs).
multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) is an agreement between three
or more states relating to the environment. They are produced by the
United Nations which represent the 197 countries in the world.
Terms Conventions and Protocols are also used to refer to MEAs:-
Convention gives a framework on the agreement.
are negotiated and concluded for specific targets or obligations which are
required to meet the objective of the convention
important MEAs were adopted after the 1992 Earth Summit which is the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil.The world community needs to come together for a global
solution for a global environmental problem.
a Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Mauritius has a fragile ecosystem and
is increasingly faced with global crisis namely climate change, loss of
biodiversity, poor management of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste, marine
pollution. In view of the magnitude
of the global challenges and with limited technical and financial resources,
Mauritius has joined the world community to address global environmental
problems in a concerted manner. Some 36
multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs)related to chemicals,
biodiversity, marine and atmosphere have been signed by Mauritius.
36 MEAs were clustered into 5 main groups namely:
36 MEAs have been concluded at different period of time and they have
different signatory/ratification dates.
Moreover, these MEAs have entered into force at different dates.
Details on these MEAs on the date of entry
into force, the ratification statusas
well as links to access further information
from the MEAs Secretariat and convention text have been
After signing the MEA, Mauritius become a member to the
convention/protocol and is invited by the Secretariat to participate in
international conferences. During
the last two decades, Mauritius has
been actively negotiating for issues in the interest of Mauritius, SIDS
and Africa group. As a
result, Mauritius has among other developing countries, benefitted from
funding from various sources including the Global Environment Facility
Trust Fund, Adaptation Fund, Multilateral Fundto implement national action
plans/programmes related to the respective MEAs.Mauritius is well-known
for its key achievements in implementing the obligations of a number of
MEAs; the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer and
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are a few
examples. At national level,
different MEAs are implemented by different focal
MOESD is the focal point (Ministry) for Conventions and Protocols as
Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
on the Protection, Management and Development of the marine and coastal
environment of the Eastern African Region and related protocols (Nairobi
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) and;
Protocol under the UNFCCC
Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and;
Protocol under the Vienna Convention
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Convention on Mercury
Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes
and their Disposal
convention on the ban of the import into Africa and the control of
transboundary movement and management of hazardous wastes within Africa
being the focal point and the lead executing Ministry for the above MEAs,
the Ministry of Environment has the coordinating role for the
implementation of the 35MEAs under the MEAs Coordinating Committee.
The latter Committeewas set up under the Environment
Protection Act, in 2008. The
objective is to ensure a high level co-ordination on the implementation of
The Ministry of
Environment is in consultation withthe focal Ministries to followprogress
on the implementation status of the MEAs.
The relevant focal Ministry may
be contacted for details on the respective MEA.