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Mr. Mohammed A. Bekhechi
Lead Counsel, ESSD and International Law Unit (LEGEN)
The World Bank

Biography Biography in PDF

Environmental Law
Implementation and Compliance
Selected Lessons Learned on
Implementation of and Compliance with
International Legal Instruments
Related to Environmental Protection and
Natural Resources Conservation
Implementing and complying with international environmental legal instruments is a multi-faceted and complex issue in developing countries. This lecture discusses various aspects of this issue, its complexity of and some empirical reasons to explain why implementation and compliance with international environmental conventions and agreements remains weak overall and in many respects problematic.  It also provides thoughts about how to develop a culture of compliance and facilitate implementation of these instruments.

Original Lecture in English
Video| Audio
(34 minutes)

Recording facilities courtesy of
Georgetown University Law Center

Environmental Law
Implementation and Compliance
Selected Lessons Learned on Implementation of and Compliance with International Legal Instruments related to Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Conservation
A. Legal Instruments
International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling, London, 8 June 1937, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 190, p. 79.

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Ramsar, 2 February 1971, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 996, p. 245.

Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Declaration), 16 June 1972, in Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (A/CONF.48/14/Rev.1), Part I, Chapter I.

Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Paris, 16 November 1972, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1037, p. 152.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, Washington, 3 March 1973, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993, p. 243.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Bonn, 23 June 1979, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1651, p. 333.

Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Canberra, 20 May 1980, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1329, p. 47.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Montego Bay, 10 December 1982, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1833, p.3.

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Montreal, 16 September 1987, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1522, p. 3.

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Basel, 22 March 1989, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol.1673, p. 57.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, New York, 9 May 1992, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1771, p. 165.

Convention on Biological Diversity, Rio de Janeiro, 5 June 1992, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1760, p. 79.

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 14 June 1992, in Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (CONF.151/26/Rev.1(Vol.I)), Annex I.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, Paris, 17 June 1994, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1954, p. 3.

Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, New York, 4 August 1995, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2167, p. 3.

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, Rotterdam, 10 September 1998, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2244, p. 337.

B. Documents
General Assembly resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962 (Permanent sovereignty over natural resources).

C. Doctrine
M.A. Bekhechi, “Some Observations Regarding Environmental Covenants and Conditionalities in World Bank Lending Activities”, Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, vol. 3, 1999, Kluwer Law International, London, pp. 287-314.

M.A. Bekhechi, “Une nouvelle étape dans le développement du droit international de l'environnement: la Convention sur la Désertification”, Revue Générale de Droit International Public, No. 1, 1997, pp. 5-43.

P. W. Birnie/A. Boyle, Basic Documents on International Law and the Environment, Oxford University Press, USA, 1995.

A. Boyle/D. Freestone (eds.), International Law and Sustainable Development, Past Achievements and Future Challenges, Oxford University Press, USA, 1999.

B. Boer et al., International Environmental Law in the Asia Pacific, Kluwer Law International, London, 1998.

L. Boisson de Chazournes et al., Protection Internationale de l'Environnement. Recueil d'Instruments Juridiques, Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 1998.

E. Brown Weiss/H.K. Jacobson (eds.), Engaging Countries. Strengthening Compliance with International Environmental Accords, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Cambridge, 1998.

J. Cameron et al. (eds.), Improving Compliance with International Environmental Law, Earthscan, Earthscan Publication Limited, London, 1996.

L. Campiglio et al. (eds.), The Environment after Rio: International Law and Economics, Graham & Trotman/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, London, 1994.

B. Chaytor and K.R Gray (eds.), International Environmental Law and Policy in Africa, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2003.

D. Craig et al. (eds.), Capacity Building for Environmental Law in the Asia and Pacific Region: Approaches and Sources, Asian Development Bank, Manila, 2002.

C. Di Leva, “International Approaches to Global Environmental Challenges”, in: T.M. Ndiaye/R. Wolfrum (eds.), Law of the Sea, Environmental Law and Settlement of Disputes: Liber Amicorum Judge Thomas A. Mensah. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2007, pp. 1055-1066.

M. Fitzmaurice/M. Szuniewicz (eds.), Exploitation of Natural Resources in the 21st Century, Kluwer Law International Publisher, The Hague, 2003.

R.F. Fuggle and M.A. Rabie, Environmental Management in South Africa, Juta & Co. Ltd. Pub., Cape Town, 1992, particularly chapters 8-9.

H. Grassl et al. (eds.), Fighting Poverty through Environmental Policy, Earthscan, London, 2004.

S. P. Johnson, The Earth Summit. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Graham & Trotman/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 1993, particularly section IV.

A. Kiss/J.P. Beurier, Droit International de l'Environnement, Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 2000.

W. Lang (ed.), Sustainable Development and International Law, Graham & Trotman/ Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 1995.

T.M. Ndiaye/R. Wolfrum (eds.), Law of the Sea, Environmental Law and Settlement of Disputes: Liber Amicorum Judge Thomas A. Mensah. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2007.

W.A Paatii Ofosu-Amaah, Reflections on Developing Countries’ Role in Negotiating the Pre-Rio Conference Environment-related Treaties: a Proposal of Action for Enhancing their Role and Effectiveness, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2007.

P. Sands, “Environmental Protection in the Twenty-First century: Sustainable Development and International Law”, in: Revesz, Richard et al. (eds.), Environmental Law, the Economy and Sustainable Development, Cambridge University Press, USA, 2000, pp. 369-409.

P. Sands, “International Courts and the Application of Sustainable Development”, in: J. Hatchard/A. Perry-Kessaris (eds.), Law and Development: Facing Complexity in the 21st Century, Cavendish Publishing Limited, London, 2003, pp. 132-160.

T. Swanson and S. Johnston, Global Environmental Problems and International Environmental Agreements: The Economics of International Institution Building, E. Elgar Pub., Cheltenham, 1999. pp. 186-199.

B. Taneja, Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements by India-Legislative Harmonization: Meeting the Requirements of the CBD and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements, 2002 (available online).

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Negotiating and Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs): A Manual for NGOs, UNEP, Nairobi, 2007.

D. Zaelke et al. (eds.), Making Law Work: Environmental Compliance & Sustainable Development, vol. I & II, Cameron May Ltd., London, 2005.