Archive for the ‘Biodiversity’ Category

At the Crossroads for Global Chemical Safety

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

By Baskut Tuncak

Baskut Tuncak, Staff Attorney

Next week, negotiators from over 150 countries and other stakeholders will convene in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss the future of global chemicals management.  These critical negotiations come at decisive juncture for the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM), with only eight years left on its ambitious mandate to ensure sound chemicals management—eight years in which developing regions face rapidly increasing risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals.  A recent report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Chemicals Outlook (GCO), highlights the global nature of the chemicals industry and chemical safety.  The GCO highlights three factors responsible for increasing the vulnerability of people living in developing economies to chemical exposure. Read more…


UN Human Rights Council establishes an Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment

March 23, 2012 2 comments

CIEL and Earthjustice, working closely with Maldives, Costa Rica and Switzerland, obtained from the UN Human Rights Council a resolution on Human Rights & Environment that establishes an Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment.  Read more…

Great Rainforest or the Greatest Rainforest?

February 22, 2012 1 comment

By Amanda Kistler

On Thursday, January 12th, 2012 CIEL scientist Matt Finer presented as part of Amazon Watch’s GreenBag Lunch series with this auspicious title, riffing off Stephen Colbert’s rhetorical question he poses to anyone that might not agree with his hyperbolic categorization. However, even Colbert would find few, if any, who would call the region of Loreto, Peru, anything but great

According to Matt, Loreto is a huge land area but not unmanageable. It is primarily flat except for the western areas that are the last bit of lowland forest before the Andes Mountains. Endemic species, or species that cannot be found anywhere else, live in these elevation gradients. Loreto is also home to the start of the Amazon River. Read more…

Multilateral Environmental Agreements and You

July 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Mary Tharin, CIEL Intern

By Mary Tharin

BASEL, CITES, CBD, CMS? Remembering the acronyms of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) is challenging enough, much less trying to recall their technical details. Thankfully, the MEA Information and Knowledge Management Initiative, facilitated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), just launched a user-friendly information portal called InforMEA to help navigate the complex landscape of international environmental law. CIEL’s attorneys and interns helped to assemble, analyze and index international environmental treaties and decisions for this Initiative.

The website presents major MEAs and protocols in three over-arching categories: 1) biological diversity, 2) chemicals and waste management, and 3) climate, atmosphere and deserts. With a few easy clicks you can access the full text of each agreement, a list of parties, national focal points, and subsequent decisions. The site also features a useful chart listing every country to ever sign an MEA, along with their date of ratification. It’s interesting to note how some countries (like the United States) compare with the rest of the world.

Read more…

Glacial Progress at June Climate Talks in Bonn: Public Frozen Out

June 29, 2011 1 comment

By the CIEL Climate Team

Despite growing evidence that the effects of climate change are occurring earlier and more dramatically than foreseen just a few years ago, the UNFCCC negotiations continue to demonstrate how difficult it is to reach agreement on a broad-based binding framework for collective international action on climate change.  The two weeks of negotiations (June 6-17) in Bonn got off to a rocky start with agenda disputes holding up progress for several days.  Read more…

Hidden Stories and the Power of Law

September 20, 2010 1 comment
By Carroll Muffett

Carroll Muffett

It is beautiful.

Ten days ago, a NASA satellite took this image, a reminder that we are blessed to live on a planet rich with water and green with abundant life.  Seen from 440 miles above the Arctic Circle, the earth seems peaceful, perfect and unchanging.

Yet, there are other, hidden stories in this image—important details that can escape notice at this distance, unless you know what to look for.

Read more…