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New Report on International Environmental Governance: Implementing Reform

The Center for Governance and Sustainability just published a new report entitled “International Environmental Governance: Implementing Reform” that summarizes the discussions of a workshop facilitated by Prof. Maria Ivanova, Center’s director, around key issues relevant for the future of the International Environmental Governance (IEG) system.

Last June, the Federal Office of Envi­ronment of Switzerland convened an IEG workshop that brought together 22 partici­pants from 13 countries and the EU Commission, as well as from international organizations and agreements to Glion, Switzerland. Government representatives to UN Environment in Nairobi and Geneva also took part in the workshop. Prof. Ivanova moderated the discussion, prepared background materials, and authored the report. The dialogue built on the outcomes of an expert workshop on “Achieving Environmental Sustain­ability for Sustainable Development” that UNEP convened in 2016.

The main objective of this international workshop was to identify areas in the system of IEG that require further attention and policy options, including issues such as the progress in the implementation of the mandates established by the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, the potential of UNEP, the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), and the implementation of the environmental dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the discussion, that took place under Chatham House rules, participants had frank and open deliberations that resulted in the identification of key elements and of areas where additional discussion or analysis is required. Deliberations focused on the status of current governance processes and structures, the relationship between UNEP, UNEA, and the CPR; the role of UNEP in the creation of the environmental conventions in their administrative support and implementation; and UNEP’s role in advancing the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustain­able Development. The report does not reflect a common view as not all the participants agreed on each of the areas of attention.

The discussion is expected to continue with a new workshop later this year in order to move forward with ideas and strategies that support international environmental governance.

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