Study Material for UPSC IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations - Environment (International Conventions)

Study Material for UPSC IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations - Environment (International Conventions)


What is CITES?

  • It is an International agreement between governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • It ensures that international trade in the specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
  • CITES regulates international trade in species by including species on one of the three Appendices.
  • Appendix I - includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances e.g. Tiger, Himalayan brown bear, elephant, and Tibetan antelope
  • Appendix II - includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival e.g. Hippopotamus, big leaf mahogany, and the gray wolf.
  • Appendix III - a species included at the request of a country which the n needs the cooperation of other countries to help prevent illegal exploitation, e.g. walrus, Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, and the red-breasted toucan.

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal:

It aims at preventing and minimizing the generation of wastes including those ending up in the ocean. Much of the marine liter and micro plastics found in the sea may be determined as ‘waste’ as defined under the Convention.

Stockholm Convention for persistent organic pollutants

  • Rotterdam convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
  • RAMSAR CONVENTION The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
  • The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states, from all the world’s geographic regions, have acceded to become “Contracting Parties”


  • It stemmed directly from recommendation of the Rio Conference Agenda 21. Adopted in 1994 and entered into force in 1996.
  • It is the only internationally legally binding framework regarding desertification. The Convention addresses the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the dry lands.

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