Ecologic Institute is assisting the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in analysing implementation and enforcement deficits as well as in identifying gaps in multilateral environmental agreements. For the BMU, the Ecologic Institute will prepare legal expert opinions, develop policy recommendations and suggestions, evaluate the suggestions of other treaty parties and monitor relevant international negotiations from the perspective of international law. This project is built upon its predecessor project "Implementation and Development of International Environmental Law."
Modern international environmental law – brought to the forefront especially by the UN Conferences in Stockholm (1972) and Rio de Janiero (1992) – today is characterised by relatively high levels of regulation. Hardly any other area of international law has developed so dynamically and extensively over the last forty years. Of great importance in the coming years will be the further development of existing regulations and the ensuring of their actual implementation through the contract parties. The appropriate forum for this are the Conferences of the Parties to the multilateral treaty regime such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP Convention) and the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC Convention). The lawyers at Ecologic Institute provide support to the BMU in these processes by enabling it to take up and/or change its position quickly and flexibly.
The objective of the project is to more successfully promote German positions on questions of international public law on the international and bilateral levels. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of implementation and enforcement deficits of the existing treaty regime as well as the related development of concrete suggestions for their elimination and compensation. Gaps will be indentified and evaluated and possible solutions developed. This often deals with the compliance mechanisms of the individual international treaties. In order to eliminate a gap, however, an international consensus must be reached concerning the regulation of mercury, which is currently being negotiated by the international community. Another focal point of the project will be other analyses conducted as need be concerning other issues of international law, especially the integration of environmental concerns in other areas of international law.
The lawyers of Ecologic Institute will provide the BMU with their expertise in matters of international law in particular. Ecologic Institute’s tasks include the short-term preparation of legal expert opinions concerning the abovementioned topics, e.g. negotiation topics concerning the POP and PIC Conventions. In addition, Ecologic Institute will also prepare for and participate in the negotiations and the meetings of institutions of diverse international law treaties.