The emergence of environmental protection obligations and of the principle of sustainable development, as well as the increased awareness that water resources have to be managed in a holistic approach, have highlighted the need to integrate existing water regulation regimes with rules and principles concerning the environmental aspects of freshwater resources, and to regulate the quantitative and qualitative aspects in an integrated manner. This course introduces you to the international legal framework on freshwater resources, which covers global and regional agreements.
Persistent organic pollutants (“POPs”) are organic chemical substances that remain intact for exceptionally long periods of time, become widely distributed throughout the environment, accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms, and are toxic to both humans and wildlife. This course introduces you to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which seeks to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants. The e-course is comprised of three lessons.
The export of chemicals has raised grave concerns to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, as they may be faced with chemicals without adequate information about their harmful impacts and without the infrastructure to manage them in an environmentally sound manner. This course introduces you to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, which provides Parties with a first line of defense against hazardous chemicals. The e-course is comprised of three lessons.
Mercury is a heavy metal that occurs naturally but can also be released into air, water and soil through anthropogenic activities such as mining, metal and cement production, and combustion of fossil fuels. It is highly toxic and persistent in the environment. It can be transported in the atmosphere great distances, and can enter the food chain and accumulate in flora and fauna. This course introduces you to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which seeks to protect the human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
Once generated, hazardous wastes require proper handling and disposal if their adverse impacts on human health and the environment are to be avoided. This course introduces you to the Basel Convention, which is the most important legally binding international agreement related to hazardous and other wastes. It will take you 2 hours approximately to complete the course, excluding additional materials.
Wetlands are among the most complex and productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rainforests and coral reefs. They can host an immense variety of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals. All these species are closely linked to wetlands and to each other, forming a life cycle and a complex set of interactions. For this reason, protectign wetland habitats is essential for maintaining global and national biodiversity.
The way in which genetic resources are accessed, and how the benefits of their use are shared, can create incentives for their conservation and sustainable use, and can contribute to the creation of a fairer and more equitable economy to support sustainable development.
No country is self-sufficient in plant genetic resources; all depend on genetic diversity in crops from other countries and regions. International cooperation and open exchange of genetic resources are therefore essential for food security. This course introduces you to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the legally binding framework for the conservation and sustainable use of all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. It will take you 2 hours approximately to complete the course, excluding additional materials.
Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction. Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future.
The Earth's biological resources are vital to humanity's economic and social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems caused by human activities has never been so great.