Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) play a critical role in the overall framework of global environmental governance. Complementing national legislation and bilateral or regional agreements, MEAs form the over-arching international legal basis for global efforts to address particular environmental issues.

Africa, like the rest of the world, is confronted with various environmental issues that have both direct and indirect socio-political and economic impacts. These challenges include unsustainable exploitation of biodiversity and other natural resources, invasive and alien species, illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species, indoor and outdoor air pollution, improper waste disposal, exposure to chemicals and other hazardous materials, illegal trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes and materials, and climate change. These challenges pose a grave threat to the region’s sustainable development goals.

Over the years hundreds of MEAs have come into force with the aim of addressing the above challenges by improving global, regional and local environmental governance. The majority of African states are now parties to many of these MEAs. However, the achievement of the objectives of many of these MEAs by African states still remains a far target in most instances due to varied reasons.

ECI’s MEAs Program focuses on the following areas:

i. Providing capacity building as well as technical and legal assistance to various stakeholders including African governments, civil society and other non-state actors involved in MEAs negotiation processes; and
ii. Promoting the adoption, ratification and implementation of MEAs by African states.