chapter  9
37 Pages

The Environment

ByKelly-Kate S. Pease

This chapter looks at collective action problems associated with environmental protection, then at the structure of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) involved in managing land and sea resources. The case studies in the chapter, cover international efforts to combat climate change and protect the whales. Multilateral conferences are convened and international law and organizations are created to address the interrelated global environmental issues of deforestation, desertification, biodiversity, ozone depletion, and climate change. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) conference attempted to reconcile two principles: state sovereignty and freedom of the high seas. The Rio Conference adopted the theme of "sustainable development." Sustainable development recognizes that the kind of economic development that has occurred in the advanced industrialized countries cannot be replicated in the developing world without grave environmental consequences. The case study on climate change highlights the deep differences between rich and poor nations and deepseated divisions over the causes and consequences of climate change.