List of Environment Conventions & Protocols - UPSC GS III

Multiple questions are asked from the environment section of the UPSC examination in both prelims and mains. International Environmental Conventions and Protocols are one of the most important sections of Environment & Ecology of UPSC Mains GS III. Get the list of important environmental conventions and protocols in this article.

Important International Environmental Agreements

The table below gives the list of important environmental conventions of the world:

List of Environmental Conventions

Name Year of Establishment
Ramsar Convention 1971
Stockholm Convention 2001
CITES 1963
Convention on Biological Diversity 1992
Bonn Convention 1979
Vienna Convention 1985
Montreal Protocol 1987
Kyoto Protocol 1997
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992
Rio Summit 1992
UNCCD 1994
Basel Convention 1989
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety 2000
UN-REDD 2008
Nagoya Protocol 2010
COP24 2018
COP21 2016
Kigali Amendment 2016
Minamata Convention 2013
Rotterdam Convention 1998
COP25 2019

Brief about Environmental Conventions

1. Ramsar Convention

  • It is called the Convention on Wetlands
  • It was adopted in the city of Iran, Ramsar in 1971.
  • It came into force in 1975.

Read more about Ramsar Convention, and Ramsar Wetland Sites in India from the links below:

2. Stockholm Convention

  • It is a convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • It was adopted in 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It came into force in 2004.

Read more about the Stockholm Convention at the linked article.

3. CITES

  • It is a convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
  • It was adopted in 1963.
  • It came into force in 1975.

Read more about CITES at the linked article.

4. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • It is a convention for the conservation of biological diversity.
  • It was adopted in 1992
  • It came into force in 1993.

Read more about the Convention on Biological Diversity at the linked article.

5. Bonn Convention

  • It is a Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.
  • It was adopted in 1979.
  • It came into force in 1983.

Read more about the Bonn Convention at the linked article.

6. Vienna Convention

  • It is a convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer.
  • It was adopted in 1985.
  • It came into force in 1988.

Read more about the Vienna Convention at the linked article.

7. Montreal Protocol

  • It is an international environment protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer.
  • It was adopted in 1987.
  • It came into force in 1989.

Read more about the Montreal Protocol at the linked article.

8. Kyoto Protocol

  • It is an international protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It was adopted in 1997.
  • It came into force in 2005.

Read more about the Kyoto Protocol at the linked article.

9. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  • It is an international environmental treaty governing actions to combat climate change through adaptation and mitigation efforts directed at control of emission of GreenHouse Gases (GHGs) that cause global warming.
  • It was adopted in 1992.
  • It came into force in 1994.

Read more about the UNFCCC at the linked article.

10. Rio Summit

  • It is a United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
  • It was held in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Read more about Rio Summit at the linked article.

11. UNCCD

  • It is a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
  • It was adopted in 1994.
  • It came into force in 1996.

Read more about UNCCD at the linked article.

12. Basel Convention

  • It is a convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
  • It was adopted in 1989.
  • It came into force in 1992.

Read more about the Basel Convention at the linked article.

13. Cartagena Protocol

  • It is an international environmental protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • It was adopted in 2000.
  • It came into force in 2003.

Read more about Cartagena Protocol at the linked article.

14. UN-REDD

  • It is a United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.
  • It was created in 2008.

Read more about the UN-REDD at the linked article.

15. Nagoya Protocol

  • It is an international environment protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • It was adopted in 2010.
  • It came into force in 2014.

Read more about Nagoya Protocol at the linked article.

16. COP24

  • It is the 24th meeting of the conference of parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • It took place in 2018.

Read more about COP24 at the linked article.

17. COP21

  • It is the 21st meeting of the conference of parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • It took place in 2018.

Read more about COP21 at the linked article.

18. Kigali Agreement

  • It is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
  • It was adopted in 2016.
  • It came into force in 2019.

Read more about the Kigali Agreement at the linked article.

19. Minamata Convention

  • It is an international environmental treaty intended to protect health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.
  • It was adopted in 2013.
  • It came into force in 2017.

Read more about the Minamata Convention at the linked article.

20. Rotterdam Convention

  • It is an international environmental convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
  • It was adopted in 1998.
  • It came into force in 2004.

Read more about the Rotterdam Convention at the linked article.

21. COP25

  • It is the 25th meeting of the conference of parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • It took place in 2019.

Read more about COP25 at the linked article.

UPSC Previous Year Questions on Environmental Conventions & Protocols

Aspirants can see what kind of questions are asked in Prelims w.r.t international environmental conventions.

UPSC Prelims 2019 Question

# Consider the following statements:

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India.
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of the Ramsar Convention.
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

UPSC Prelims 2018 Question

# “Momentum for Change: Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by

(a) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

(b) The UNEP Secretariat

(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat

(d) The World Meteorological Organisation

With reference to the ‘Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (CACSA)’, which of the following statements is/are correct.”

  1. GACSA is an outcome of the Climate Summit held in Paris in 2015.
  2. Membership of GACSA does not create any binding obligations.
  3. India was instrumental in the creation of GACSA.

Select the correct answer using the code given

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

UPSC Prelims 2014 Question

With reference to ‘Global Environment Facility’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It serves as a financial mechanism for ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’ and ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’.
  2. It undertakes scientific research on environmental issues at the global level
  3. It is an agency under OECD to facilitate the transfer of technology and funds to underdeveloped countries with a specific aim to protect their environment.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 2

(d) all the above

With reference to a conservation organization called Wetlands International’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is an intergovernmental organization formed by the countries which are signatories to Ramsar Convention.
  2. It works at the field level to develop and mobilize knowledge, and use the practical experience to advocate for better policies.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

UPSC Prelims 2012 Question

Consider the following statements: Chlorofluorocarbons, known as ozone-depleting substances, are used

  1. in the production of plastic foams
  2. in the production of tubeless tyres
  3. in cleaning certain electronic components
  4. as pressurizing agents in aerosol cans

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

UPSC Preparation:

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