Various environmental agreements

Major environmental agreements

In recent years, environmental issues requiring solution by the United Nations or multilateral cooperation have extended to various fields. In each case, time is of the essence and yet it will take time for countermeasures to have an effect.

Every time a harmful effect is actualized, it means we have failed to act soon enough to avert immeasurable cultural, economic, and other losses.

AgreementEffectiveRatification by JapanNumber of countries party to the treatySummary
Washington Convention7/19754/1973169Aims to preserve endangered species of wild flora and fauna by restricting international trade of seed.
Ramsar Convention12/197506/1980150Aims especially to promote maintenance of wetlands of international importance especially as waterfowl habitats, and to protect their flora and fauna.
Vienna Convention09/198809/1988189Framework declaration of international cooperation to protect the ozone layer.
Montreal Protocol01/198909/1988188Protocol specifying ozone-depleting substances, and restricting their consumption and production.
Convention on Biological Diversity12/199305/1993187Aims at the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
Framework Convention on Climate Change04/199405/1993188Framework agreement committing parties to an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and removal, with the ultimate aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations.
Kyoto Protocol02/200506/2002156Protocol committing developed countries and countries with economies in transition to numerical targets on output of carbon dioxide, etc.

Ramsar Convention

Ramsar is the name of a town in Iran.
The agreement concluded at the 1971 “Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat” is commonly called by the name of the town where it was held.

The world’s wetlands are home to various living things such as crustaceans, fish, and plants. They also benefit our own lives by supporting such activities as fishing; and we, in turn, have a strong influence on the wetlands.

Wastewater flowing into the wetlands from factories and homes causes pollution. Not only that, but cases of wetlands adjacent to cities being drained and reclaimed for industrial sites, residential areas, and landfills are reported all over the world. The aim of the Ramsar Convention is secure international cooperation to maintain the wetlands that provide an indispensable environment for living things.

The Ramsar Convention was concluded in 1971 and went into effect on December 21, 1975.

Japan became a party on October 17, 1980, and registered the Kushiro Marsh with the secretariat as a wetland designated for coverage by the Convention.

Japan now has 50 wetlands registered under Ramsar Convention.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: About the Ramsar Convention

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