Implementation of Global Environmental Commitments: Lessons from the Global South

Organizer: Maria Ivanova
Format: Online, Evening

Achieving sustainability requires an assessment of where we stand, a vision for where we want to be, a strategy for transformation, and a plan of action. More than 1500 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) have been created to tackle various problems on the regional and global levels. Have they worked? Why or why not? How can we learn from the experience of implementing these agreements and build on already existing policies and initiatives? The Environmental Conventions Index (ECI) is a rigorous empirical tool to assess implementation and compare across countries and conventions over the last 20 years. Developed at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Index identifies areas of success and implementation gaps. Analysis to date shows that conventional wisdom regarding developing countries lagging behind is not necessarily true –many top-performers in the global biodiversity-related conventions are actually countries from the Global South. This and other findings that we plan to share indicate an important possibility for peer learning and South-South cooperation. This session will provide information about the process of MEA implementation in two clusters—biodiversity and chemicals and waste—and the roles of a range of actors in the implementation process. The core objectives include gaining familiarity with and understanding of the core concepts in the implementation of international environmental law, understanding the policy dynamics of implementation at the national level, including the obligations of national reporting processes, and acquiring knowledge about the empirical results of implementation across countries and conventions. During the discussion, participants will be encouraged to share experiences about the determinants of implementation and learn about best practices. The ultimate goal of the session is to highlight the work of countries making progress in environmental governance and foster a virtual community for knowledge sharing and capacity building.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action