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    United Nations Convention To Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

    NEWS: India to host UN meet on land degradation in September.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.
    WHY IN NEWS: India for the first time will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September.

    Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.

    The Convention’s 197 parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought. The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation. The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.

    As the dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity are intimately connected, the UNCCD collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions; the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to meet these complex challenges with an integrated approach and the best possible use of natural resources.

    Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

    Convention on Biodiversity is the brainchild of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

    Headquarter is Montreal, Canada. It works under UNEP.

    Protect biodiversity -COP meetings, Aichi Targets.

    Safe use of bio-technology - Cartagena Biosafety Protocol

    Stop unfair use of Genetic resources - Nagoya Genetic Resources Protocol

    UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

    International environmental treaty that came into existence under the aegis of UN.

    UNFCCC is negotiated at the Earth Summit 1992.

    Signed in 1992, New York City.

    As of March 2019, UNFCCC has 197 parties.

    Role: UNFCCC provides a framework for negotiating specific international treaties (called “protocols”) that aim to set binding limits on greenhouse gases.

    Objective of UNFCCC: Stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous consequences.

    Legal Effect: Treaty is considered legally non-binding.

    The treaty itself sets no binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries.

    Parties to UNFCCC are classified as:

    Annex I countries: Industrialized countries and economies in transition

    Annex II countries: Developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries

    Non – Annex I countries: Developing Countries.

    Kyoto Protocol (COP 3; UNFCCC Summit 1997)

    The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997.

    India ratified Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

    The Kyoto Protocol came into force in February 2005.

    There are currently 192 Parties.

    USA never ratified Kyoto Protocol.

    Canada withdrew in 2012.

    Goal: Fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to “a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

    Kyoto protocol aimed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases across the developed world by about 5 per cent by 2012 compared with 1990 levels.

    The Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

    Kyoto Protocol is the only global treaty with binding limits on GHG emissions.

    The Kyoto Protocol emission target gases include

    Carbon dioxide (CO2),

    Methane (CH4),

    Nitrous oxide (N2O),

    Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6),

    groups of hydro fluorocarbons (HCFs) and

    groups of Per fluorocarbons (PFCs).

    The Kyoto Flexible Market Protocol mechanisms include:

    Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

    CDM allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries.

    Emission Trading

    Emissions trading allows countries to sell unused emission units to countries that have exceeded their targets.

    Joint Implementation (JI)

    The mechanism known as “joint implementation,” allows a country with an emission reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) from an emission-reduction project in another Annex B Party, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target.


    Kimberley Process (KP)

    NEWS: India to actively curb ‘conflict’ diamonds.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.
    WHY IN NEWS: India has committed to play an active role to curb the circulation of ‘conflict diamonds’ or ‘blood diamonds’ in the international market by further strengthening the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

    The Kimberley Process (KP) is a multilateral trade regime established in 2003 with the goal of preventing the flow of conflict diamonds.

    The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds. It aims to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds, while helping to protect legitimate trade in rough diamonds. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) outlines the rules that govern the trade in rough diamonds. The KPCS has developed a set of minimum requirements that each participant must meet. The KP is not, strictly speaking, an international organisation: it has no permanent offices or permanent staff. It relies on the contributions – under the principle of ‘burden-sharing' – of participants, supported by industry and civil society observers. Neither can the KP be considered as an international agreement from a legal perspective, as it is implemented through the national legislations of its participants.

    The Kimberley Process (KP) participants are states and regional economic integration organizations that are eligible to trade in rough diamonds. As from November 2018, there are 55 participants representing 82 countries, with the European Community counting as a single participant. The participants include all major rough diamond producing, exporting and importing countries. The diamond industry, through the World Diamond Council, and civil society groups are also integral parts of the KP. These organisations have been involved since the start and continue to contribute to its effective implementation and monitoring.

    Under the terms of the KPCS participants must:

    Satisfy ‘minimum requirements’ and establish national legislation, institutions and import/export controls.

    Commit to transparent practices and to the exchange of critical statistical data.

    Trade only with fellow members who also satisfy the fundamentals of the agreement.

    Certify shipments as conflict-free and provide the supporting certification.

    Conflict diamonds, also known as ‘blood' diamonds, are rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance armed conflicts aimed at undermining legitimate governments.