Negotiating and Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs): A Manual for NGOs

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"Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are crucial actors and partners, both in the negotiations and the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and the wider environmental and sustainability challenges facing the world in the 21st century. They are often well placed to reach local communities and to be an important bridge and interface between citizens, governments and multilateral organizations like the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). NGOs will continue to be vital in others ways - from lobbying for change, providing influential research from often a different or unique perspective up to highlighting concerns via headline grabbing stunts or provocative arguments in national and international fora. Indeed NGOs have played important roles in assisting governments to realize many of the seminal environmental conventions and treaties of the past few decades and were a key player in catalyzing the establishment of UNEP in 1972. Today, NGOs are widely represented on the intergovernmental scene including at UN conferences and talks. This reflects progress since the agreement of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development adopted in 1992. It recognized that "environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level". UNEP is committed to providing support to NGOs so they can more effectively impact the political decision-making process. Negotiations at the intergovernmental level can be challenging and complex for all participants including NGOs. Meanwhile, new NGOs and new faces at established NGOs are attending intergovernmental discussions. In order to maximize their contribution and their impact, background information and advice on how to negotiate the conference maze would seem a useful aid. This Manual distills the knowledge of many leading NGO experts with a wealth of experience in high level negotiations. It identifies some of the key skills that could prove necessary to those who would consider being environmental lobbyists. The Manual gives readers information and tips to back up their preparations for multilateral environmental meetings including as they relate to implementation of MEAs."--Introduction.

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