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News Negotiating and Implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Over the past several decades, the international community has established a range of legally binding agreements designed to tackle the world’s most serious environmental challenges. Each of these Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) focuses on a specific problem, be it hazardous waste, trade in endangered species, climate change or some other pressing concerns at the time the agreement was developed.

In parallel, the role played by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the international negotiation of MEAs and then in their national and local application has grown considerably.

In this context and given these new challenges, this Manual attempts to link these two areas of MEA formulation and civil society participation. Its goal is to both strengthen multi-stakeholder participation and increase political momentum for effective MEA development, implementation and enforcement. The format of the Manual follows the sequence of governments’ and NGOs’ actual work on conferences and treaties. It provides step-by-step background information and approaches, ‘inside the process’ guidance, and expert advice on how stakeholders can effectively engage in developing and implementing MEAs.

This work is a collaborative effort made by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and three organizations that have teamed to produce this Manual: Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, el Centro de Estudios Ambientales - CEDEA and Earth Media.

This project is part of UNEP’s extensive involvement with MEAs – a role that includes serving as secretariat for specific MEAs, and providing cooperation and support functions on many issues for national governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and local authorities. It is a companion to UNEP’s Guidelines on Compliance with and Enforcement of MEAs (2002), and its Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (2006).

This Manual for NGOs is available on free access at and/or

And also at

The Manual can be also ordered in hard copy through earth print at


Contact information United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (email:
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Geographical coverage International
News date 09/07/2007
Working language(s) ENGLISH