ENVIRONMENT: MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS
WTO Matrix on Trade-Related Measures Pursuant to Selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)
Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are an important means for countries to tackle environmental problems, particularly those international or global in scope. There are, currently in force, over 250 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) dealing with various environmental issues. About 15 of these MEAs include provisions to control trade in order to prevent damage to the environment:
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
- United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA)
- Agreement on Port State Measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (PSMA)
- International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA)
- International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity
- Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
- Nagoya ľ Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
- Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal
- Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
- Minamata Convention on Mercury
The Matrix provides the following background information on selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs):
- Brief description of the MEA;
- Trade-related measures of the MEA, notably requirements or restrictions on imported or exported products;
- Supportive measures, such as technology transfer, and financial or technical assistance under the provisions of the MEA;
- Non-compliance mechanism set out in the MEA;
- Dispute settlement mechanisms in the MEA;
- Provisions relating to non-parties to the MEA.
The latest version of the Matrix is available for download here.
This includes an Annex which provides a comparative table of WTO and MEA membership.
The Marrakech Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment sets out the Work Programme of the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). Items 1 and 5 cover the relationship between the rules of the multilateral trading system and the trade measures contained in MEAs, and between their dispute settlement mechanisms.
The Matrix of MEA trade measures has been prepared under the WTO Secretariat's own responsibility and is without prejudice to the positions of Members or to their rights and obligations under the WTO.
At the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference, Members agreed to negotiate on the relationship between WTO rules and specific trade obligations in MEAs; and on the collaboration between WTO and MEA secretariats. These negotiations take place in special sessions of the Trade and Environment Committee.