What are Global Environmental Goals (GEGs)?
GEGs are internationally agreed environmental goals and objectives drawn from existing international treaties and non-legally binding instruments. The compilation of GEGs in this website intends to inform Governments and relevant stakeholders and promote their cooperation in achieving their objectives in a more coherent and harmonized manner. The compilation of GEGs is ongoing and the content contiues to be refined and consolidated in a multi-stakeholder process.
A first draft of the compilation was prepared with the assistance of a small group of independent experts. Its content was circulated at the Meeting of Senior Government Officials Expert in Environmental Law to Prepare Montevideo Programme IV in Nairobi in 2008. Subsequently comments from the seven secretariats of global multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) were integrated into the compilation. Discussions of emerging issues during the 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum further helped shape the compilation in 2009. Is there anything that can be added on developments since?
The Legal Status of the Goals
Depending on the legal nature of the instrument a goal is derived from the distinction is clearly shown between legally binding and non-legally binding GEGs. Goals and objectives under legally binding instruments have binding effects only on Parties to the respective instruments.
Structure of the Goals
The compilation presents relevant goals and objectives under specific themes identified. The themes include (a) Air pollution and air quality; (b) Biodiversity; (c) Chemicals and waste; (d) Climate change; (e) Energy; (f) Forests; (g) Freshwater; (h) Oceans and seas; (i) Soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; and (j) Environmental governance. Each thematic area covers subsets of thematic issues as well as common topics such as financial support, capacity building and means of implementation.
Regional goals and objectives are presented under each thematic. Legally binding and non-legally binding goals and objectives are presented in a clearly distinguished way.
Since the existing international instruments often reflect delicately balanced packages of political compromises and commitments, the integrity of the instrument is upheld. Instruments from which goals are derived are directly accessible from each goal presented on this website.
Sources and Principles
Relevant goals and objectives are identified from a range of sources, distinguishing between legally binding instruments, such as international treaties, conventions, or protocols, and non-binding instruments. Non-binding instruments include outcomes of United Nations summits and world conferences, conferences convened under the auspices of specialized agencies or in the field of environment, and codes of conducts, decisions or recommendations of United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, respective treaties or the Commission of Sustainable Development.
Principles contained in the outcomes of intergovernmental deliberations provide visions for the international community to achieve ultimate goals in the field of the environment. Those principles are often viewed as the foundations of environmental goals and objectives
The principles contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,are repeatedly referred to in various international instruments and provide important policy frameworks in identifying relevant environmental goals and objectives.
The front-end images are credited to the following persons/organisations:
Air pollution and air quality – MorgueFile.com
Gerard Van der Leun/Flickr.com
Daniel Diaz Nauto/Flickr.com
John & Mel Kots/Flickr.com