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Participation of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Environmental Co-operation

Participation of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Environmental Co-operation

Legal Basis and Practical Experience

The book "Participation of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Environmental Co-operation" analyses the importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the relationship between the legal basis and the practical influence of NGOs in different areas of international environmental governance.

The importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in international environmental co-operation has increased tremendously over the last decades. Accordingly, the participation of non-governmental actors has become a prominent subject for research, resulting in a dynamically growing body of literature on the subject, especially in the legal and social sciences. However, only a limited effort has been made to systematically analyse the relationship between the legal basis and the practical influence of NGOs in different areas of international environmental co-operation.

With this context in mind, the book lays out a conceptual basis by reviewing existing definitions of NGOs, elaborating the functions NGOs perform in international environmental policy-making and examining various criteria that can serve to distinguish different types of NGOs. It then analyses in more detail the legal basis and the practice of NGO participation in Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), economic institutions, and other relevant international institutions. Constraints on the role of NGOs are also identified. On the basis of the state of development of related principles of international law, this analysis includes an assessment of the extent to which NGO participation in international institutions can be considered legitimate ground. Finally, the book identifies and discusses a number of options for enhancing the role of NGOs in international environmental governance.

The full study also contains detailed case studies on the role of NGOs in two environmental treaty systems (climate change and trade in endangered species) and two economic institutions (International Organisation for Standardization, ISO; and the World Bank). A total of close to almost 40 representatives of governments and different NGO constituencies as well as secretariat staff were interviewed in undertaking these case studies.

The Book is available at the price of 39,80 Euro at the Federal Environmental Agency or e.g. via amazon.

The full study [pdf, 923 KB, English] as well as a summary [pdf, 52 KB, English] are available for download. The Book and an Ecologic Brief are results of the project "NGO's in International Environmental Policy".


Citation

Oberthür, Sebastian et al. 2002: Participation of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Environmental Co-operation: Legal Basis and Practical Experience. [UBA Berichte 11/02]. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag GmbH & Co.

Language
English
Author(s)
Sebastian Müller
Dr. Stefanie Pfahl
Funding
Publisher
Year
2002
Published In
Series: UBA Berichte , 11/02
ISBN
3-503-07060-5
Dimension
287 pp.
Project ID
1890
Table of Contents

Summary
I. Background: Definition, Classifications and Functions of NGOs
II. The Participation of NGOs in International Environmental Policy-Making to Date
III. Options for Enhancing the Role of NGOs

1. Introduction

2. General Assessment
2.1 Definitions, Classifications and Functions of NGOs
2.1.1 Definitions
2.1.2 Classifications
2.1.3 Functions, Activities and Channels of Influence
2.2 Participation of NGOs in Relevant International Institutions
2.2.1 Multilateral Environmental Agreements
2.2.2 International Economic Institutions
2.2.3 Other Relevant International Institutions
2.2.4 Conclusion

3 Case Studies
3.1 The Climate Change Regime
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 Legal Provisions and Practice of NGO Participation
3.1.3 The Kyoto Procedures and Mechanisms: New Challenges and Opportunities
3.1.4 Problems of NGO Participation and Proposed Solutions
3.2 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
3.2.1 Overview
3.2.2 Legal Provisions and Practice of NGO Participation
3.2.3 Problems of NGO Participation and Proposed Solutions
3.2.4 Conclusions
3.3 International Standards Organisation (ISO)
3.3.1 Overview
3.3.2 Legal Provisions and Practice of NGO Participation
3.3.3 Problems of NGO Participation and Proposed Solutions
3.3.4 Conclusions
3.4 World Bank
3.4.1 Overview
3.4.2 Legal Provisions and Practice of NGO Participation
3.4.3 Deficits, Problems and Need for Improvement
3.4.4 Conclusions: Proposed Solutions

4. Concluding Assessment and Outlook
4.1 Legal Basis and Practice of NGO Participation
4.2 Towards Determining The Legitimate Role of NGOs
4.2.1 Emerging Principles of NGO Participation in International Law
4.2.2 Legitimacy of NGOs
4.2.3 Conclusions
4.3 Existing Constraints and Proposals for Improvement
4.3.1 Formalisation and Harmonisation of Rules
4.3.2 Accreditation and Access to Informations: the Basis of Participation
4.3.3 Access to Meetings and Active Participation
4.3.4 Imbalanced Representation and Differentiation
4.3.5 Institutional Support: Implementation Review
4.4 Policy Options (Recommendations)

Annex 1: Draft Guidelines for Interviewa
1. Legal Provisions and Practice of NGO Participation
1.1 Purpose
1.2 Topics/questions
2. Deficits, Problems and Need for Improvement
2.1 Purpose
2.2 Topics/questions
3. Assessment of Proposals for Enhancing NGO Participation
3.1 Purpose
3.2 Topics/questions

References

Literature
Legal Instruments and Documents

Interviewees

Keywords
NGO, International, Environmental Policy, Institutions, Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Climate Change Regime, Legal Provisions, Participation, International Law, Legitimacy, Formalisation, Harmonisation,