Christiane Gerstetter, Fellow Ecologic Legal, provided an introduction to various international agreements to a Palestinian audience during a workshop in Ramallah on 29-30 March 2010. The workshop was convened by the Environmental Quality Authority of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Its aim was to raise awareness among Palestinians about international environmental agreements.
The Palestinian status under international law is a specific one, given that there is no recognised Palestinian state so far. Palestine has been given observer status and some additional rights at the United Nations, but is neither a full member of the UN nor a party to multilateral environmental agreements so far. As funding is frequently linked to party status under environmental agreements, this also makes it difficult for the PNA to receive funding for certain environmental projects. At the same time, the Palestinian Territories and population are negatively affected by several environmental problems such as water scarcity, a lack of sanitation, wastewater treatment facilities and proper garbage collections systems in many places. Moreover, global environmental phenomena such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity are environmental issues of relevance for Palestineans.
Against this background, Christiane Gerstetter gave an introduction to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. She highlighted that all of these conventions address environmental problems of concern to Palestinians. She stressed that while Palestine may not currently be able to join any of these agreements as a party, Palestinians could still start addressing the underlying environmental problems.
The presentation is available for download [pdf, 100 KB, English].
The workshop was funded by TAIEX. TAIEX is the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument managed by the Directorate-General Enlargement of the European Commission. TAIEX supports partner countries, including the Palestinian Authority, with regard to the approximation, application and enforcement of EU legislation.
- Ecologic Institute Project: Climate Change, Hydro-conflicts and Human Security (CLICO)
- Ecologic Institute Project: Environmental Components of the European Neighbourhood Policy