Working for strong international laws and agreements

WWF engages with international instruments – such as conventions, commissions, agreements and treaties – for strong international laws and policies that ensure the sustainable management, equitable use, and adequate protection of biodiversity and natural resources.
We are currently active in a variety of international conventions, commissions, agreements and other instruments, where we:
  • provide advice and technical information on relevant issues
  • demonstrate concrete actions governments can take
  • advocate for stronger international laws and regulations
  • help governments to implement their commitments under the convention/commission.
We were also involved in the creation of some conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention), and Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships.

Major conventions, commissions, and other fora that we work with include:

  • Species & biodiversity
    - Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
    - International Whaling Commission (IWC)
    - Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
    - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
     
  • Climate
    - Kyoto Climate Treaty (Kyoto Protocol)
    - Copenhangen Climate Treaty
    - UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
     
  • Fisheries
    - Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs)
    - UN Fish Stocks Agreement
    - UN Informal Consultative Process on the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS)
    - FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI)
     
  • Freshwater
    - Ramsar Convention
    - UN Watercourses Convention
    - UNECE Water Convention 
    - World Commission on Dams
     
  • Shipping
    - Convention on Ballast Water Management
    - Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships
    - Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
    - International Maritime Organization (IMO) 
 / ©: Slawek Jankowski / WWF International
WWF campaigning at the UN Climate Change Conference, Poznan, Poland, December 2008.
© Slawek Jankowski / WWF International
A large number of international conventions, commissions, agreements and treaties have been created that provide laws, policies and frameworks for intergovernmental coordination and cooperation on the management, use, and protection of natural resources.

The objectives of these instruments, and their implementation by national governments, are highly relevant to WWF's goals.

At the moment, many conventions and commissions have serious gaps and failings. For example, some conventions are not yet ratified by the required number of countries, and so have not entered into force. Several conventions and commissions do not include all states to which the resource belongs. And many lack appropriate enforcement mechanisms and monitoring provisions for their implementation. This hinders our efforts to conserve biodiversity and reduce humanity's ecological footprint.

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