United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Environment Outlook-1 - The Web version

Chapter 3: Policy Responses and Directions

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West Asia

International Initiatives

The level of participation by the countries in West Asia in international agreements and conventions related to the environmental issues is rather sporadic. (See Table 3.5.) Three countries have ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. Agreements related to the prevention and control of pollution include the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has been ratified by five countries of the region; the International Convention to Combat Desertification, which has been ratified by Lebanon and Syria; the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, ratified by nine countries; and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, ratified by seven.

The relatively low level of representation in many international conventions and the priority given to their implementation is partly due to the shortcomings of domestic legislation. It is also due to the large amount of professional and administrative expertise and resources needed to implement the complicated legal and administrative requirements of conventions.

Nevertheless, regional mechanisms to follow up implementation of these conventions have been initiated, such as the Regional Committees for the Montreal Protocol and the Basel Convention. A subcommittee for the Climate Change Convention has also been established in CAMRE, and at the subregional level, for the GCC countries. ACSAD has been nominated as the regional co-ordinator for the Convention to Combat Desertification and the Convention on Biodiversity.

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