International environmental law compliance in context II: actors

1 Introduction

Actors in international environmental law (IEL) compliance have evolved to include a wide range of non-state actors. However, the latter still play a limited formal role in compliance with IEL. Both individually and together, these numerous factors represent challenges for the international environmental governance system.

International law subjects operating in the field of environmental law continue to be predominantly States, but they now also include the ever-growing and prominent participation of other subjects, such as corporations, international non-governmental organisations, local communities and indigenous peoples. This is a topic at the intersection of IEL and international environmental politics which has contributed various theories about environmental actors, providing different nuances.1

As regards compliance, coordination and cooperation between the various actors is crucial. The legal design, the institutional setting and the wording of MEAs are still state-centric, with more openness to participation of nonstate actors in the new generation of contemporary treaties. With that caveat in mind, this chapter analyses the part the various actors play in shaping IEL compliance.

2 The ‘traditional actors’ vs ‘other actors’

Actors in IEL perform various functions in the areas of governance, law-making, policymaking and decision-making (including compliance procedures). Within the institutional framework of global environmental governance, it is still international institutions that are mainly in charge of normative development.[1]

« States and non-state actors

States, alongside international organisations, as derivative subjects of international law, have been considered the classical actors in the IEL realm, including compliance.[2] Increasingly important, however, are international organisations or international institutions. The evolution of the concept of international legal personality (ILP) has had many turning points. Based on the principle of equality amongst States, compliance with IEL presents remarkable differences between developed and developing States, which is translated into the application of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

Despite being involved in environmental law processes and performing activities which entail harm for the environment, non-state actors are not directly accountable for fulfilling international obligations pertaining to the protection of the environment. In principle, only States and international organisations (wherever this is provided for) respond internationally in cases of non-compliance. Some attempts have been made to allocate responsibilities to non-state actors in the event of major environmental damages or cases of transboundary pollution by articulating both hard and soft-law solutions.

Since much emphasis is placed on the obligations to be fulfilled by international law subjects in IEL, it is worth looking at how international personality is regulated. Theories about international legal personality are also applicable in the field of IEL, with some nuances.

Many activities which can cause transboundary environmental harm originate in private parties’ actions or omissions that result in non-compliance. Whereas states as ‘traditional actors’ have continued to be direct addressees of IEL obligations, other non-state actors have emerged in different areas playing an increasing role in standard-setting and implementation of IEL norms. Due diligence obligations point to the accountability of non-state actors: particularly that of multinational corporations.

The definition and attribution of obligations in IEL can be broad in scope. In the corpus of IEL, compliance issues are mostly stipulated through international

conventional law, i.e. sectoral treaties regulating various environmental problems. The vagueness in the formulation of the norm can facilitate compliance by different actors or lower the bar required for States to adjust their conduct to the expected goal set in the norm. Low compliance may originate from setting ambitious treaty goals without providing the means to achieve them. On the other hand, allowing too much flexibility in reaching the targets may give actors a false expectation of compliance. This is illustrated by the targets set in the 1960s by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), formed under the International Whaling Convention, which adopts regulations and sets quotas on the number of whales that can be killed.[3]

IEL is made up of sector-specific norms, being highly fragmented with regard to the different environmental sectors and vertically between the various government levels. Consequently, compliance with IEL is fragmented, multi-layered and takes place on different levels. These problems are common to the various legal systems which constitute the IEL system. Equally, some non-state processes in the area of environmental protection, such as standard-setting, which are related to compliance have been excluded from formal law-making in terms of sources of IEL. The diverse functions performed in national law by domestic institutions cannot be exactly mimicked in the international law realm: law-making, law-interpreting, law-implementing and law-enforcing roles have no equivalent in IEL.

Putting all this in an environmental context, most actors in IEL continue to be States in all the various IEL realms, from law-making to policymaking, including compliance. The most widely held view in IEL is that states are the ones responsible in cases of non-compliance, but, progressively, non-state actors may be held accountable for activities that cause transboundary harm to the environment. Here, there is a sharp contrast between domestic law and international law as the former provides for liability for non-compliance by private parties.

National environmental agencies or equivalent national departments have emerged in the landscape of compliance. Although these agencies and governmental bodies do not respond directly, they are tasked with the implementation of MEAs, key to ensuring compliance. Actors in the implementation of international environmental obligations include government officials, legal advisers and domestic courts.

Other grassroots initiatives in IEL have shifted the focus to non-state actors, such as under certain regimes. For instance, the CBD provides for the participation of indigenous peoples and other communities in benefit-sharing agreements.

Compliance with IEL can take place on the domestic or on the international level. It seems that there is a preference for international or domestic courts, as seen in some cases of damage caused by pollution of international watercourses, which may determine the application of different standards of liability.[4]

International institutions and organisations (with universal and regional scope) undertake various functions in IEL compliance. The different roles of international institutions in global environmental governance also shape contemporary IEL. The controversial question which arises regards the restrictions faced in IEL compliance and the weaknesses of accountability under international law.

Global organisations, like the United Nations (UN), which did not originally have any specific bearing on the field of environmental law have expanded their scope to include environmental protection. Other international organisations which do not institute an organ tasked with the protection of the environment have increased their action in the international environmental law realm.

In terms of the specialized agencies of the UN, although none of them has been endowed with compliance attributions in the field of IEL, some of them have interpreted their constituent treaties to include environmental competence. Amongst other agencies which have interpreted the treaties to encompass environmental functions, there are: the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO); the World Health Organisation (WHO); the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO); the International Maritime Organization (IMO); and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Other UN bodies also play a role in advancing environmental protection, such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

Since its creation by a General Assembly resolution, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has performed coordination functions without really possessing executive powers to implement the norms.11 In broader terms, its function is on a persuasive level, convincing states of the need for environmental action, offering expertise and advice, and sponsoring treaties.

Regional organisations which include in their respective mandates the protection of the environment have emerged on a regional scale, such as the European Union, the Organisation of American States, the African Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Regional organizations have included an environmental body in their institutional setting, creating a variety of environmental regimes on that level, such as biodiversity or climate change.

On the normative level of compliance, the classical vertical command and control power structure governing domestic policies cannot be replicated on the international level. Authority to secure compliance rests on state consent, based on the power of co-equal States.

What is a compliant actor, and what is a non-compliant actor? In terms of‘legal effectiveness’, compliance is assessed on the basis of the obligations which IEL rules allocate to actors (obligation of conduct, to do or to abstain from doing, or of the resulting effect on states or other non-state actors). Failure to meet obligations leads to non-compliance procedures and, sometimes, to dispute settlement in IEL. In the climate change regime, under the Paris Agreement, States are required to submit their pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions).[5] Previously, in light of the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union was obliged to curb greenhouse gases emissions by 8% from 1990 in the 2008-2012 period. Pursuant to Article 4.1(b) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), States are required to formulate national climate programs, ‘taking into account their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances’.

The overarching aim of IEL compliance is to instil a new model of action and motivate behavioural change which includes all actors of international law.

b States, sub-state entities and national environmental agencies

In many sectors of environmental law, we find broadly formulated rules which need to be implemented in the respective domestic legal systems, also requiring the adoption of legal and policy measures. On the operational level, this implies the involvement of sub-state divisions. To provide guidance on the implementation of IEL, some national agencies have adopted compliance guidelines or compliance codes of practice. The whole architecture of IEL rests on national implementation for MEAs, and other international environmental treaties impose obligations on States which have the main obligation of putting IEL norms into effect. Ultimately, the effectiveness of MEAs such as those concluded in the area of air pollution or biodiversity depends on the degree of implementation of the norms in the national sphere. Consider, for instance, the permitting process under CITES, which mandates the creation of national permitting schemes to limit trade in endangered species.

The role of National Environmental Agencies in compliance with IEL should not be overlooked. On the international level, States have the primary responsibility for compliance with IEL. On a domestic level, however, we observe the

different branches of government depending on the system a federal or a unitary system or on their having a decentralised or a centralised system.16 National courts have increasingly developed an approach to implementing IEL norms in the domestic arena. To enhance coordination, internally, States set up ad-hoc committees to resolve implementation issues. In the European Union, national parliaments play a role in ensuring compliance in accordance with the subsidiarity and proportionality principles.

In terms of the implementation of the various types of IEL commitments, there are differences concerning procedural and substantive obligations, and regarding voluntary compliance. The manner in which adopted IEL legal rules are implemented and how compliance is controlled at sub-state level is also crucial to ensuring effective implementation.

Party States implement treaty provisions according to their respective national implementation systems, enforceable through judicial or quasi-judicial bodies. Some States follow a decentralized model of IEL. Separate compliance committees have been established under MEAs. Some treaties have a relatively advanced compliance mechanism. MEAs establish remedies that are available in the case of non-compliance with national legislation or practice. Periodic inspections in order to verify compliance need the input of national governments. One can distinguish between legislative implementation and executive/administrative implementation.

With regard to reporting, national environmental agencies perform a key function in compliance with IEL. As a rule, the local and regional levels are not directly represented in international negotiations. Environmental regulations in the domestic sphere implement various aspects of MEAs, which, ideally, should aim to achieve effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency.17

SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY (SEPA)

Compliance assessment scheme guidance manual

  • 3 The compliance matrix
  • 3.1 The scheme distinguishes between conditions that relate directly to the environment and those which relate to management requirements that ensure appropriate environmental protection. These two types of conditions are referred to as:
    • - Environmental Limit Conditions (ELCs);
    • - Environmental Management Conditions (EMCs).
    • (Continued)
  • 16 Ibid., at 210 and 211.
  • 17 Neil Gunningham, ‘Enforcing Environmental Regulation’ (2011) 23(2) Journal of Environmental Law, pp. 169-201, available at https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqr006 accessed 2 May 2020.
  • 3.2 SEPA considers both types of conditions to be equally important and has developed a compliance matrix made up of six compliance bands (...):
    • - excellent
    • - good
    • - broadly compliant
    • - at risk
    • - poor
    • - very poor

These bands allow the compliance assessment for an activity to be tracked year on year.

  • 3.3 The matrix has been designed to:
    • - provide an excellent result for activities with no breaches, i.e. full compliance with environmental limits and high performance on environmental management attributes;
    • - highlight very poor activities where there are breaches of environmental limits as well as low management performance;
    • - assign activities where environmental management is assessed as having low performance level as:
    • - at risk if there have been no ELC breaches and- poor or very poor if there have also been breaches of ELC limits;
    • - assign either a broadly compliant or good overall band to activities where there are only minor breaches or non-compliances.
  • 3.4 Assessment rules have been developed to determine gross, significant, and repeated minor breaches for ELCs, as well as high, medium and low performance for EMCs. However, breaches of ELCs or non-compliances with EMCs do not necessarily translate into an environmental impact. For example: an effluent discharge to a river that exceeded the licensed limits would be counted as a breach even though it may have caused no environmental impact because the river was in spate.
  • 3.5 The overriding concern in developing these rules has been to promote consistency and fairness across regulatory regimes. For this reason, SEPA has set generic rules for assessing gross and significant breaches as well as repetitions of a minor breach. Some regimes have different or specific additional rules due to fundamental differences in the type of activity, licensing regime or process control expected.
  • 3.6 The scheme takes account of good management practice whether or not it is implemented as part of a formal accredited Environmental Management System (EMS).

3.7 Overall compliance is considered satisfactory where the overall compliance assessment is Excellent, Good or Broadly compliant and unsatisfactory where the overall compliance assessment is Very Poor, Poor or At Risk. SEPA will direct and prioritise resources to move sites from unsatisfactory to satisfactory compliance.

Source: https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/368671/

compliance_scheme_manual.pdf

EUROPEAN UNION

Environmental Compliance Assurance

What is environmental compliance assurance?

The European Union has put in place rules to provide society with environmental benefits that include clean water, breathable air and a healthy nature. A recent Eurobarometer survey shows that an overwhelming majority of Europeans want the EU to make sure that these rules are applied across Europe.

Environmental compliance assurance describes all the ways in which public authorities promote, monitor and enforce compliance with such rules. It is part of environmental governance.

Promote means helping businesses and others to comply;

Monitor means using inspections and other checks to collect information about levels of compliance and provide solid evidence for enforcement;

Enforce means stopping those who disregard the rules, sanctioning them and obliging them to rectify the damage.

Promotion covers awareness-raising, guidance and advice. Monitoring covers routine environmental inspections, police investigations and environmental audits by public audit bodies. It also includes examination of complaints from the public. Enforcement covers audit recommendations, official warnings, cease-and-desist orders, administrative fines, criminal prosecutions and demands to take remedial action. Interventions may vary according to what works best.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/

compliance_en.htm

3 The ‘strategic players’: a. Multinational corporations.

b. International non-governmental organisations

Under the category of non-state actors, international subjects such as multinational corporations or enterprises (MNCs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have a role in compliance with IEL. Often seen as the antipodes of IEL compliance, both non-state actors and the MNCs and INGOs have evolved in their respective roles. Where there are no formal international regulations, some global companies develop global standards, forming part of the so-called soft-law.

a Multinational corporations (MNCs) and compliance with IEL

Private sector organisations are shaping IEL norms: different IEL areas have experienced their influence in the regulation of different areas.[6] Among the various private sector actors, businesses and particularly Multinational Corporations (MNCs) have become more influential, being involved in various IEL processes. There has been a shift from corporations considered as an object of environmental regulation to their more active participation in IEL making and implementation and compliance procedures.

MNCs are also subject to direct obligations under IEL by application of the polluter pays principle under civil liability conventions, such as MARPOL or the Basel Convention. States continue to be the main addressees of IEL, but increasingly norms are setting obligations or standards for the private sector which require their compliance and proper communication and coordination with the respective State. Notwithstanding, the wording of international environmental treaties does not allude to ‘direct corporate liability’.

MNCs have gained notoriety in international law as they have increased their reach in international trade and investment agreements, which often encompass environmental protection or sustainable development clauses. Equally important, MNCs have direct access to international alternative dispute resolution for the settlement of investment disputes with a bearing on environmental issues.

A burgeoning literature on the international accountability of MNCs in IEL puts the focus on duties. The adoption of soft-law OECD guidelines for MNCs and the Business and Human Rights principles which regulate them constitutes a piecemeal development. According to the so-called Ruggie Principles, respect, protect and remedy are basic obligations in the framework of

business and human rights.26 Efforts to guarantee an environmentally sound corporate conduct have ultimately created a web of soft-law norms with an attempt to codify International Business and Human Rights (IBHR) by adopting a comprehensive treaty.27

The IBHR framework provides for an analytical framework based on the safeguard of fundamental rights, comprising environmental rights. Self-regulation on the part of MNCs, expressed in the adoption of codes of conduct, adds in another layer of complexity.

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

HRC, 17th, 06/07/2011, A/HRC/RES/17/4

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

(...) stressing that the obligation and the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms lie with the State,

Emphasizing that transnational corporations and other business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights,

Recognizing that proper regulation, including through national legislation, of transnational corporations and other business enterprises and their responsible operation can contribute to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of and respect for human rights and assist in channelling the benefits of business towards contributing to the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Concerned that weak national legislation and implementation cannot effectively mitigate the negative impact of globalization on vulnerable economies, fully realize the benefits of globalization or derive maximally the benefits of activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and that further efforts to bridge governance gaps at the national, regional and international levels are necessary,

Recognizing the importance of building the capacity of all actors to better manage challenges in the area of business and human rights,

  • 1 Welcomes the work and contributions of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights and transnational corporations
  • (Continued)
  • 26 UN, ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework and Guiding Principles, available at https://www. business-humanrights.org/en/un-secretary-generals-special-representative-on-business-human-rights/un-protect-respect-and-remedy-framework-and-guiding-principles accessed 1 March 2020.
  • 27 OEIGWG Chairmanship Revised Draft 16.7.2019, Legally Binding Instrument To Regulate, In International Human Rights Law, The Activities Of Transnational Corporations And Other Business Enterprises, available at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCoun-cil/WGTransCorp/OEIGWG_RevisedDraft_LBI.pdf accessed on 1 March 2020. and other business enterprises, and endorses the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, as annexed to the report of the Special Representative (...).

Source: https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/

guidingprinciplesbusinesshr_en.pdf

b International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) as actors in IEL

International or global non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have increasingly developed and diversified their functions in IEL, playing a substantive role in various areas.

The endorsement they receive through formal IEL by being accredited before the UN enables them to take part in some relevant international environmental processes.29 The legal standing of NGOs and the consultative status attributed to them facilitates their involvement in the treaty negotiation of MEAs. Revisions and reflections about the notion of compliance come from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).30

Global NGOs perform diverse functions in compliance with IEL, some of which are more formal than others. Greenpeace engages in several campaigning and advocacy activities that enhance compliance with IEL. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) acts as a hybrid organization which comprises a bunch of non-governmental organisations working on nature conservation."''1 The red list system raises awareness about species at risk of extinction.32 The Earth Council Alliance performs a relevant role in the field of sustainable development and environmental justice.33

Organisations exerting a large function in IEL, such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) or the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), belong to a network of organisations operating on national and international spheres, which have developed an important role in raising public awareness about environmental problems and exerting

  • 28 Tullio Treves and Alessandro Fodella (eds), Civil Society, International Courts and Compliance Bodies (TMC Asser Press 2005).
  • 29 UNEP. List of accredited organizations, available at https://www.unenvironment.org/civil-society-engagement/accreditation/list-accredited-organizations accessed 1 March 2020.
  • 30 United Nations, World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Johannesburg Summit, Johannesburg, South Africa 26 August - 4 September 2002, available at https://sustainablede-velopment.un.org/milesstones/wssd accessed 1 March 2020.
  • 31 Information about IUCN, which was established in 1964, is available at https://www.iucn.org/ accessed 1 March 2020.
  • 32 IUCN, Red list, available at https://www.iucnredlist.org/ accessed on 1 March 2020.
  • 33 Earth Council, available at https://earthcouncilalliance.org/ accessed on 1 March 2020. pressure on various actors. International NGOs are essential in achieving an effective system of compliance with international law, as representative of the public interest. NGOs have contributed to environmental summits and declarations on environmental rights, coordinating actions. NGOs are some of the stakeholders highlighting crucial areas for environmental protection at the international level and creating a new mode of global environmental governance. There are still many difficulties that impinge on NGOs’ participation in compliance; the challenge lies in the removal of these obstacles to extend the decentralisation of global environmental governance to fully include other stakeholders.
  • 4 International organisations and international environmental law compliance

International organisations contribute to formulating and implementing environmental policies and strategies that foster compliance in a variety of ways. A wide range of international organisations possess these functions in the sphere of environmental protection.

Against this background, UNEP has developed a critical function in setting IEL rules. Broadly formulated rules and guidelines adopted by UNEP provide the respective sector with discretion in balancing environmental concerns against targets when laying down regulations and devising international environmental policy. The principles of environmental law guide international environmental policy to interpret and apply IEL more consistently.

a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The UN General Assembly established UNEP as a subsidiary body. UNEP, now UN Environment, presents an umbrella for intergovernmental cooperation addressing sectoral environmental protection internationally. Initially established as a programme, with no separate legal personality, its tasks in the field of IEL compliance have grown exponentially.

Several MEAS allocate to UNEP the tasks of implementation, regulation of capacity and technical aspects, performance of inspections and initiating enforcement proceedings. UNEP coordinates actions orientated to the fulfilment of obligations in cooperation with other international organisations and finance mechanisms. Its main task is to foster the advancement and enhancement of the implementation of agreed international norms and policies, monitoring compliance with environmental principles and fostering the implementation of international agreements.

1

UNEP, The Role of UNEP in the Development of Guidelines on Compliance and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (UNEP Secretariat 2000), available at https://digitalli-brary.un.org/record/436919?ln=en 1 April 2020.

UNEP

Guidelines on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements33

  • 2 Effective participation in negotiations
  • 11. To facilitate wide and effective participation by States in negotiations, the following actions may be considered:

a Assessment of whether the issue to be addressed is global, regional or subregional, keeping in mind that, where appropriate, States could collaborate in regional and subregional efforts to promote implementation of multilateral environmental agreements;

b Identification of countries for which addressing an environmental problem may be particularly relevant;

c Establishment of special funds and other appropriate mechanisms to facilitate participation in negotiations by delegates from countries requiring financial assistance;

d Where deemed appropriate by States, approaches to encourage participation in a multilateral environmental agreement, such as common but differentiated responsibilities, framework agreements (with the content of the initial agreement to be further elaborated by specific commitments in protocols), and/or limiting the scope of a proposed multilateral environmental agreement to subject areas in which there is likelihood of agreement;

e Transparency and a participatory, open-ended process.

Source: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/

20.500.11822/17018/UNEP-guidelines-compliance-

MEA.pdf?sequence=l&isAllowed=y

b Specialised agencies

Some international organisations and organisms perform implementation functions (supervising monitoring, revising and promoting compliance) in IEL in a multi-layered system.[7]

Specialized agencies in the UN system have performed in the field of environmental protection as well. The FAO provides access to valuable information about the status of the environment in different sectors, such as water or climate

change, which contributes to transparency and monitoring and improving environmental compliance.[8] Other agencies comprise in their mission environmental objectives, such as the International Maritime Organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Meteorological Organisation.

In terms of compliance, these international agencies provide expertise and technical knowledge, and offer a forum for negotiations, multilateral discussions, inter-governmental cooperation and information exchange between partners and stakeholders.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) comprises 18 agencies which address some of the most pressing environmental issues related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, chemicals and international waters. All the tasks performed by these agencies are interwoven into the fabric of IEL compliance: they contribute to safeguarding global commons and foster compliance with IEL.

5 Regional systems: regional integration and cooperation organisations as actors in IEL compliance

Implementation of international environmental agreements presents distinctive features across the regions. Whether a state effectively implements its obligations under an MEA depends mainly on resource availability, capabilities and regional and domestic priorities. Often conditioned to the economic aspects, environmental protection is sometimes considered less of a priority. Regional variants demonstrate difficulties in achieving harmonisation in IEL compliance and securing similar environmental standards across states and regions. Conversely, regional approaches enrich IEL by incorporating what are considered priority areas for compliance, tailoring the measures to the specific needs of the regions in question. Often, one observes a complete network of MEAs and regional environmental agreements with a specific regional scope which does not necessarily translate into effective implementation. Regional environmental governance offers a diversity of scenarios: from a strong role performed by the European Union and UNECE which has yielded some successful outcomes to a weaker role played by other regional counterparts. Notwithstanding the differences, regional initiatives reflect consensus about specific aspects of IEL compliance. Some MEAs resonate more with particular regions, like in the case of biodiversity, which also has an impact on compliance with that particular set of norms or area of IEL.

Another remarkable development is the geographical expansion of environmental treaties initially concluded in and for a particular region to then be opened to ratification by states outside the region as happens with the UNECE conventions. This expansion wave co-exists with another trend: to conclude environmental treaties to address specific regional environmental concerns, an example of which is the Escazu Agreement, with its provision on the protection of environmental defenders. The latter is also an example of a ‘closed’ environmental treaty as it rules out the possibility of other states outside the subregion (Latin America and the Caribbean) joining in.[9]

a Europe: United Nations Economic Commission for

Europe (UNECE)

Some regional organisations also take a leading role in international negotiations in different environmental areas closely linked to compliance. Not all of them display the same level of development when it comes to IEL compliance. What is decisive is the type of competences attributed to the bodies of the international organisation to monitor the fulfilment of the obligations imposed under MEAs or ad-hoc regional treaties.

In the European Union (EU), the regional organisation did not initially possess competence under EU primary law to regulate or ensure compliance with IEL. The further development of EU environmental law has been prompted by the adoption of legal instruments, which is the outcome of the joint collaboration between the acting institutions and their binding force vis-à-vis Member States.

EU secondary law has served as the vehicle to implementing MEAs in Member States. Following the shared competence system in the EU, Member States have responsibilities in both the implementation of specific EU law and obligations, and the specific implementation of obligations imposed in MEAs on both the EU and Member States.

In environmental compliance, the EU has issued Guidelines and Documents that Member States should observe in certain environmental areas: biodiversity, conservation and climate change. In these areas, the strategies reflect the

commitments taken by the EU and Member States within international environmental treaties.

For each strategy, the EU sets targets, giving Member States a window of time. The system in place to check compliance through the usual mechanism is monitored by the Commission.[10] Consequently, it is ensured that Member States are implementing EU environmental norms in their respective national legal systems. EU environmental policy and law are aligned with IEL commitments.

The central legally binding instruments remain the directives and, in smaller number, regulations. The Union legislator reserves the adoption of regulations mainly to implement international environmental treaties, as with regard to the so-called ‘Aarhus Regulation’. MEAs are incorporated into EU environmental law, forming part of EU law. In terms of the directives, it is primarily a question of implementation. Accordingly, an environmental treaty is one by which Member States are obliged to meet certain obligations.

Another main tool in the design of EU environmental policy is the EU Environment Action Plan, which sets the goals that must be met by all Member States over a period of years.

The EU as an international organisation has become a contracting party to many MEAs and regional environmental conventions. Moreover, it is leading several of the discussions in the environmental arena. The Aarhus Convention is probably the paradigmatic case in terms of compliance as the EU is directly obliged to honour its terms, being subject to the compliance mechanisms instituted therein. There is a plethora of EU soft-law legal instruments on the issue of compliance with the Aarhus Convention. The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (‘the ACCC’) often deals with access to environmental justice vis-à-vis the EU (‘the Union’).

EU Commission infringement cases have pointed out the extent to which Member States are complying with IEL, be it in terms of the fulfilment of the obligations assumed under international environmental treaties or the implementation of EU environmental law. Cases also underline the main deficiencies

in implementation. Some have addressed environmental protection in light of the protection of other freedoms. Danish Bottles Preussen Elektra and Marismas de Santoña have established the basis of environmental protection in the European Union.49 Cases have determined the rules that govern the balance between the freedom of circulation and environmental protection or cases of non-compliance with EU law. The Court has reminded Member States of their obligations under IEL and EU environmental law. Furthermore, MEAs obligations have been seen in light of EU principles of environmental law.

The EU’s approach seems to be advanced and presents opportunities to participate in negotiations and discussions on various issues; however, there are still many questions which surround the future of the system, such as those posed by non-compliance or the withdrawal of Member States.50 Undoubtedly, the significant contribution of the EU to good international governance is evinced also in the area of compliance. To some extent, problems observed in the implementation in the EU are not unique to the Member States’ domestic legal systems.

REPORT ON EUROPEAN UNION IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AARHUS CONVENTION IN THE AREA OF ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

Applicants: who is entitled to administrative or judicial review?

Standing may be granted directly before EU bodies or the CJEU (under the Aarhus Regulation or Articles 263(4) and 277 TFEU) or via national courts (Article 267 TFEU).

The Aarhus Regulation grants standing to environmental NGOs, but not to individuals. Its mechanism is ‘meant to facilitate for “qualified entities” access to justice which those entities would not have under Article 263(4) TFEU as interpreted by the Court’. The following question arises: does the exclusion of individuals in the Aarhus Regulation affect overall compliance by the EU with the Aarhus Convention?

Article 9(3) provides that ‘members of the public’ are to have access to review. Its Article 2(4) defines ‘the public’ as ‘one or more natural or legal

  • 48 Judgment of the Court of 20 September 1988. Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Denmark. Free movement of goods - Containers for beer and soft drinks. Case 302/86.European Court Reports 1988 -04607 https://www.ecolex.org/details/court-decision/ commission-v-denmark-1654df7c-8af9-483e-8220-9752cf0cfc67/accessed 1 March 2020.
  • 49 European Union, Leading Cases of the European Court of Justice - EC Environmental Law, available at https://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/law/pdf/leading_cases_en.pdf accessed 1 March 2020.
  • 50 Richard Macrory, ‘Environmental Law in the United Kingdom Post Brexit’ (2019) 19 ERA Forum, pp. 643-657.

persons, and, in accordance with national legislation or practice, their associations, organizations or group’. It is to be noted that the Convention speaks of‘members of the public’ rather than ‘the members of the public’, suggesting that not every person need be given review possibilities in all circumstances. Furthermore, the Convention also employs the concept of ‘the public concerned’ to limit the scope of the right of review in certain circumstances.

If Article 9(3) of the Convention were considered as requiring access to justice across the board, such a broad interpretation would be tantamount to imposing on Parties the establishment of an ‘actio popularis’, which the ACCC itself has expressly declared in previous cases as not being what the Convention requires.

Article 9(3) of the Aarhus Convention does not, therefore, oblige Parties to grant every member of the public unconditional access to every review procedure. Article 9(3) aims.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/aarhus/pdf/

Commission_report_2019.pdf

Within the framework of the Department of Sustainable Development, OAS Member States are cooperating on integrated water resources management; energy and climate change mitigation; risk management and adaptation to climate change; sustainable cities, biodiversity and sustainable land management; environmental law; policy and good governance; and sustainable development.[11]

Specifically, the implementation of MEAs and environmental treaties at the hemispheric level has been discussed in international meetings and conferences on key issues, such as on the Environmental Rule of Law in the Americas, which assist States in the implementation of IEL norms. Environmental cooperation also includes implementation activities. Several pitfalls in IEL implementation are observed in the region. The organization undertakes the mandate in biodiversity protection, strengthening environmental law and management of water resources, raising awareness about climate change-related issues and promoting sustainability. Despite the lack of continuity and a proper follow-up mechanism, the summits of the Americas comprised a mandate concerning environmental protection?

Perhaps better known for its role in social and economic development, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has promoted environmental protection in Latin America and the Caribbean with an emphasis on how to properly channel economic progress, making it compatible with higher levels of environmental compliance.

ECLAC has addressed environmental issues comprehensively; stressing the connection with sustainable development; providing information on the socioeconomic effects of the lack of implementation of environmental protection norms; assessing environmental performance; putting forward economic policies that foster environmental protection and promoting access to environmental information; and increasing public participation with regard to environmental issues.

The first regional agreement on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, the Es-cazú Agreement, and LAC’s first environmental treaty were proposed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Ahead of the adoption of the text, ECLAC coordinated the activities and negotiations around Principle 10.36 The treaty was opened for signature on 27 September 2018; it is in process of ratification and will enter into force on 22 April 2021.

In other subregional organisations or regional integration, such as the Central American Integration System, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Andean Community and the Common Market of the South, some efforts have been undertaken to implement MEAs. These subregional organisations have developed their own role in compliance and preparedness, stressing the priorities for the respective region, and providing institutional and capacity building to member states.

Under these subregional processes compliance-related activities vary; they range from the adoption of plans and strategies to implement a specific MEA in the region to the adoption of regional or subregional environmental treaties. An example of the former is the Andean Community strategy in the field of biodiversity.[12] Another type of compliance-related activity is the adoption of ad-hoc regional environmental treaties with a subregional scope. In the framework of subregional organisations, there have been initiatives such as the creation of ‘observatories’ to monitor environmental compliance.

Even if the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has a more prominent function in the field of economic integration, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has developed a clear role in MEAs’ implementation and monitoring compliance.

In Central America, the general legal framework for environmental cooperation and the starting point is the Central American Alliance for Sustainable Development (ALIDES), which introduced a comprehensive regional approach to environmental protection. This included the Central American Environmental Observatory and the creation of a Central American Commission for Environment and Development as subregional bodies instituted in the framework of the Inter-American System of Integration (SICA). Since Central America is a region vulnerable to climatic events, this also included the creation of a regional centre to prevent environmental damage, tasked with the function of preventing such damage (CEPREDENAC). Central American regional plans, programmes and strategies are designed to address specific environmental challenges, such as protection of biodiversity or preparedness to reduce climate change vulnerabilities.

Although not a specific environmental law forum, the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS) has offered the possibility to discuss IEL compliance in aspects related to the protection of human rights, in particular referring to indigenous peoples’ rights and protection of environmental defenders, and in the field of the safeguarding of the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous peoples. In an overall appraisal of environmental protection at the regional level, the Commission and the Court of the IAHRS have developed through case law the related rights to consultation and the protection of the environment. In particular, they have clarified the conflicting rights involved and identified the idea that indigenous communities should have the right to FPIC, control over and even in some cases consent to the development of natural resources, including the territories where these are situated. Furthermore, they should have the right to restoration of the status quo ante where harmful effects have occurred. However, the Court has yet to take the further step of defining whether FPIC has the nature ofa/wic^wnorm. Also, there remains a long road to travel between ruling that reparation must take place and ensuring that it is done.

In the Americas, all subregional institutional frameworks remain intergovernmental, which indicates that Member States still take a more ‘diluted’ legal stance on the implementation of IEL norms.

c Africa

Environmental resources are plentiful in Africa, a reservoir of biological diversity facing many environmental and ecological challenges. Compliance with IEL in Africa has gone through various stages, marked by the adoption of international legal instruments, the setting up of the regional institutional framework and the development of an incipient specific regional case law. A multitude of factors come together in the implementation of MEAs in Africa, many of which concern capacity building; having appropriate skills; and availability of resources in key sectors, such as biodiversity conservation or combating desertification.[13] MEAs in Africa face several challenges in their implementation, displaying different types of non-compliance with environmental norms on the continent. Against this backdrop, the African Union’s role in the adoption of different instruments devoted to environmental protection could be pivotal, adding to multilateral efforts.

The development of a fully-fledged system for environmental protection in Africa rests also on the adoption of regional environmental protection treaties focussed on the conservation of natural resources.[14]

Another dimension for securing environmental compliance is through the regional human rights system.63 The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘ACHPR’) has also referred to environmental protection in the context of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), although in a different legal setting. In the Advisory Opinion on the adoption of UNDRIP, issued by the ACHPR, other points were raised for discussion. Specifically, concerning FPIC, the ACHPR observed the convergence and similarities between UNDRIP and regional law adopted by the African Union, mentioning as an example the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, whose major objective is ‘to harness the natural and human resources of our continent for the total advancement of our peoples in spheres of human endeavour’ (preamble) and which is intended ‘to preserve the traditional rights and property of local communities and request the prior consent of the communities concerned in respect of all that concerns their access to and use of traditional knowledge’, which is similar to the provisions of Article 10, 11(2), 28(1) and 32 of UNDRIP.

Comparing this approach with the protection of environmental rights in the IASHR, the latter has progressively developed a specific case law on environmental protection. However, the degree of protection is not analogous to that which it has achieved in Inter-American Human Rights law. The reason may be that, as Udombana recalls, ‘determining Africa’s indigenous peoples has been largely controversial which has also had an impact on environmental protection broadly considered’. The ACHPR’s definition comprises

those particular groups who have been left on the margins of development and who are perceived negatively by dominating mainstream development, whose cultures and ways of life are subject to discrimination and contempt and whose existence is under threat of extinction.

In particular, the ACHPR has considered that the right to consultation may be seen as a ‘subset of the self-determination or self-management provisions of the African Charter, especially when held in the light of (...) ILO No. 169’.[15] Despite this affirmation, ‘the majority of African States remained unenthusias-tic about the idea of the right to consultation’. However, it is acknowledged that the right to consultation is particularly crucial, taking into consideration that ‘[m]any indigenous Africans have been forcibly evicted or displaced due to the so-called large-scale development projects - dam building, energy projects’. There is a narrower and indirect protection granted by national constitutions which guarantees the right to participate in governmental affairs and decision-making processes.

In Social and Economic Rights Action Center and Center for Economic and Social Rights v. Nigeria No. 155/96, the ACHPR reaffirmed the obligation to ‘“respect, protect, promote, and fulfil” human rights (...) the four levels require States to both positively and negatively adhere to these duties and can be found in the African Charter’. In the Endoroiscase, concerning forcible evictions, the ACHPR examined whether the State of Kenya’s creation of a ‘Game Reserve’, which displaced some members of the Endorois indigenous community from their ancestral land and restricted the community’s access to it, was consistent with respect for the indigenous community’s rights to their ancestral lands and resources. The ACHPR explained that, in these types of cases, a State’s limitations on rights must be proportionate to a legitimate need and should be the least restrictive measures possible. The ACHPR argued that ‘even if the Game Reserve was a legitimate aim and served a public need, it could have been accomplished by alternative means proportionate to the need’. It thus concluded, that Kenya,

[b]y forcing the community to live on semi-arid lands without access to medicinal salt licks and other vital resources for the health of their livestock, (...) had created a major threat to the Endorois pastoralist way of life (...) rZwrthe very essence of the Endorois’ right to culture has been denied, rendering the right, to all intents and purposes, illusory.

The ACHPR has also recognised FPIC in discussion but has yet to realise the extent of related protection achieved under IAHRS because of, among other things, the difficulty of identifying Africa’s indigenous peoples. However, a right to participation has been accepted, as has, in some circumstances, a right to consultation. The concepts of legitimate need and proportionality have also been recognised by the Commission as relevant to decision-making in cases of environmental conservation.

d Asia

As a large region, Asia presents diverse geographical areas and several environmental challenges.[16] Improving the effectiveness of IEL is linked to advancing development in the region. The task of ensuring compliance with IEL in Asia is shared by various organisations and entities. In terms of geographical areas, one can identify: Asia Pacific, South-East Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, South Asia and South-West Asia (also known as the Middle East), and sometimes also Australia, New Zealand and the island states of the South-West Pacific. Various international environmental institutions, including lOs and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), operate in each subregion to address its many environmental challenges.

Amongst them, there is the acceleration of the rate of biodiversity loss, together with air pollution and the effects of climate change in the region, deforestation and desertification. Effective legal frameworks, coupled with institutions empowered to ensure implementation, provide the critical enabling environment necessary to deliver internationally agreed environmental goals under MEAs. While most Asian countries have developed suitable environmental legal frameworks at different levels, effective implementation remains a crucial challenge for almost as many States. One of the main problem remains the weakness of the rule of law in the implementation.

Joint efforts with the Asian Development Bank have facilitated the implementation of MEAs in the Asia-Pacific Region in order to protect the global

environment and public health. The development of IEL in Asia Pacific is multifaceted, comprising various aspects of environmental law in the specific State and occasionally the states of South and Central Asia. The whole picture of implementation of MEAs is complemented by a variety of action plans.86

The effect of IEL is dependent upon the implementation of the MEAs and has different dimensions: global, regional and subregional environmental law. The different manners in which certain States and groups of States have implemented IEL norms domestically have led to an uneven development with some subregions reaching significant achievements. These areas include, inter alia, preservation of heritage, biodiversity and conservation of the marine environment. Overall, the interaction between international and regional environmental law has fostered the environmental protection development of IEL within the region. The various forces shaping the development of international and regional schemes for environmental governance are constantly interacting. There is a long-term objective to achieve ecological, social and economic sustainability.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK

Environmental Assessment Guidelines 2003

XIX Multilateral Environmental Agreements

  • 319. In the last few years, ADB has played a facilitating role in the context of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), including treaties, conventions, and protocols, particularly to support its regional cooperative efforts. The following criteria help determine where ADB assistance can be particularly helpful to DMCs: (i) ADB will concentrate on thematic areas in which it has already acquired expertise, instead of trying to build capacities in new areas; (ii) ADB will focus its participation on MEAs that have clearly identified roles for multilateral development banks; (iii) ADB participation will make a significant contribution to implementing the MEA within specific DMCs or at the subregional or regional level; and (iv) ADB participation will respond to DMC priorities for the relevant MEA. The precise nature of ADB operations in any DMC will be determined through the CSP process, and special attention will be paid to interventions that (i) deliver significant local level benefits as well as global environmental outcomes, (ii) assist vulnerable groups and countries to adapt to global environmental changes, and (iii) facilitate the mobilization of additional resources financial mechanisms of the respective MEA.
  • 86 Karina Zhanel, Review of Implementation of The International Environmental Conventions in Central Asia, CAREC Environmental Management Programme Specialist, 14.08.2018, available at http://carececo.org/publications/Review%20of%20the%20implementation%20of%20 MEAs%20in%20CA.pdf accessed 1 April 2020.

XX Environmental Auditing

322. Environmental audit is a process to review the effectiveness of environmental management. Its objectives are to (i) determine whether a company complies with all regulatory and environmental performance standards, or other management requirements for their operations; and (ii) ensure conformity with environmental assessment requirements, and test the accuracy of the assessment. It entails a systematic, documented and periodic review of either a company’s operation or project implementation. Therefore, its results could be very useful to improve company or project management performance.

Source: Asian Development Bank https://www.adb.org/sites/ default/files/institutional-document/32635/files/ environmental-assessment-guidelines.pdf

GREENPEACE SOUTH-EAST ASIA

Philippines’ Supreme Court, Segovia et., al. vs. the Climate Change Commission, ey., al., G.R. No. 211010, 7 March 2017

In summary, what we, the Petitioners, are saying, is that the production of fossil fuels by the Carbon Majors has been found to be primarily responsible for large amounts of greenhouse gases. The concentration of said gases, especially carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causes climate change. An estimated 25-30% of the carbon dioxide already emitted by these activities has been absorbed by the oceans, causing ocean acidification.

The adverse impacts of climate change and ocean acidification brought harm or pose the threat of harm to people, on top of or in addition to damage resulting from natural disasters. These harms resulting from the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification affect the exercise and enjoyment of Filipinos’ human rights (...) (a) to life; (b) to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; (c) to adequate food; (d) to water (e) to sanitation; (f) to adequate housing; (g) to self-determination; and (h) the human rights of marginalized and disadvantaged groups particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including (1) women; (2) children; (3) persons with disabilities; (4) those living in extreme poverty; (5) indigenous peoples; (6) displaced persons; and, (7) workers; as well as the right of Filipinos to development. Whether or not the Respondent Carbon Majors should be held accountable for the human rights implications of climate change and ocean acidification is what we ask the Honourable Commission.

Why do we ask?

Because the victims must be given remedies, those responsible for climate change and ocean acidification and associated human rights impacts must be held accountable, and the threats of future harms resulting from climate change and ocean acidification must be addressed, remedied, and prevented.

The recognition of the Human Rights Council, OHCHR, and the parties to the UNFCCC that climate change impedes the full and effective enjoyment of human rights protected by the most fundamental international human rights conventions provides a framework for the requested investigation of the Honourable Commission.

This investigation will further bolster the country’s leadership position on human rights in the UNFCCC negotiations and at the Human Rights Council. At the 20th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC held in Lima, Peru, the Philippines made interventions calling for references to human rights, rights of indigenous peoples, and gender in the 2015 climate agreement. In its high-level ministerial statement, the Philippines reflected on the rights implications of a climate deal (or lack thereof), stating: ‘losing the credibility of the UN multilateral process is not only an insult to diplomacy but a complete disregard to human rights’.

The Government of the Philippines joined 17 other countries in signing the Geneva Pledge on Human Rights and Climate Change in February 2015. This demonstrates the Philippines’ commitment to ‘promote and respect human rights in our climate actions’.

With the mounting evidence of the Carbon Majors holding us back on climate progress, it is essential for the Honourable Commission to act now and establish the responsibility of the Carbon Majors, which will be seen as a strong signal for future climate negotiations and other actions.

So we pray for remedies. Hindi po dapat na kami ay mauuwi lamang sa pagbibilang okaya’y mapapabilang na lamang sa mga biktima ng climate change.

Prayer

WHEREFORE, premises considered, Petitioners most respectfully pray that the Honourable Commission on Human Rights take the following actions:

1 Conduct an investigation into the human rights implications of climate change and ocean acidification and the resulting rights violations in the Philippines, and whether the investor-owned Carbon Majors have breached their responsibilities to respect the rights of the Filipino people;

  • 2 Monitor people and communities acutely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change;
  • 3 Recommend that policymakers and legislators develop and adopt clear and implementable objective standards for corporate reporting of human rights issues in relation to the environment, with special regard for current and future climate change impacts and GHGs from fossil fuel products;
  • 4 Recommend that policymakers and legislators develop and adopt effective accountability mechanisms that victims of climate change can easily access in instances of violation or threat of violation;
  • 5 Notify the investor-owned Carbon Majors and request the submission of plans on how such violations or threats of violation resulting from the impacts of climate change will be eliminated and remedied and prevented in the future; and
  • 6 Recommend that the President call upon other States, especially where the investor owned Carbon Majors are incorporated, to take steps to prevent, remedy, or eliminate human rights violations or threats of violations resulting from the impacts of climate change, or seek a remedy before international mechanisms.

Petitioners further pray for such other just and equitable reliefs under the premises.

Source: http://blogs2.law.columbia.edu/climate-change-litigation/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/non-us-case-documcnts/2015/20150512_Case-No.-CHR-NI-2016-0001_petition.pdf

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Part 2

  • [1] Andrew Hurrell and Benedict Kingsbury, The International Politics of the Environment: Actors, Interests, and Institutions (Clarendon Press 1992). 2 Helen Hey, ‘International Institutions’, in Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnee, and Ellen Hey (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (Oxford University Press 2008), pp. 755-765.
  • [2] Thilo Marauhn, Chapter 31 ‘Changing Role of the State’, in Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnée, and Ellen Hey (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (Oxford University Press 2008), pp. 729-746. 2 Duncan French, ‘Developing States and International Environmental Law: The Importance of Differentiated Responsibilities’ (2000) 49(1) The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, pp. 35-60. 3 André Nollkaemper, ‘Responsibility of Transnational Corporations in International Environmental Law: Three Perspectives’, in Gerd Winter (ed), Multilevel Governance of Global Environmental Change- Perspectives from Science, Sociology and the Law (Cambridge University Press 2006), pp. 179-199. 4 J.E. Nijman, The Concept of International Legal Personality, An Inquiry into the History and Theory of International Law (T.M.C. Asser Press 2004). 5 See for instance, the Draft UN treaty on transnational corporations and human rights, available at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/WGTransCorp/OEIGWG_ RevisedDraft_LBI.pdf accessed 1 March 2020.
  • [3] International Whaling Convention, History and Purpose^ available at https://iwc.int/history-and-purpose accessed 1 March 2020. 2 Nicolas Pane hard, ‘Access and Benefit Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity and Its Protocol: What Can Some Numbers Tell Us about the Effectiveness of the Regulatory Regime?’ (2017) 6 Resources, p. 11.
  • [4] Patricia Birnie, Alan Boyle, and Catherine Redgwell, International Law and the Environment (3rd edn Oxford University Press 2008) p. 219. 2 UNEP, About UN Environment Programme, available at https://www.unenvironment.org/ about-un-environment accessed 1 March 2020.
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