Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Annex 4: International commitments

Legally binding instruments

International Plant Protection Convention (FAO, 1951, revised 1997) outlines actions to prevent the introduction and spread of pests and diseases of plants and plant products across national borders and promotes measures for their control (also available at

World Trade Organization Principles (WTO, 1955–present) promote free trade through non-discrimination, reciprocity and transparency, with special treatment of trade from developing countries (also available at

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (RAMSAR, 1971) is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources (also available at

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1975) is an agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival (also available at

Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, No. 169 (ILO, 1989, adopted 1991) provides international standards to protect the rights of indigenous and tribal populations in independent countries (also available at

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992) details the principles governing the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources (also available at

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, 1992) aims to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC (1997) provides for mechanisms allowing countries to offset greenhouse gas emissions through afforestation, reforestation and forest management activities (also available at convkp/conveng.pdf).

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD, 1994) recognizes the delicate balancing needed to achieve sustainable livelihoods and sustainable natural resource management in fragile arid and semi-arid ecosystems through integrated land-use approaches concorded with major stakeholders (also available at

International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTO, 1994) provides a framework for sustainable tropical forest management, market transparency, non-discriminatory world timber trade and associated social and environmental considerations (also available at ITTA.1994.txt.html).

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (UNEP and FAO, 1998) promotes shared responsibility and cooperation in order to discipline international trade in hazardous chemicals and pesticides (also available at

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CBD, 2000) promotes biosafety through practical rules and procedures for the safe transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms, with a specific focus on regulating their movement between countries (also available at /publications/bs-brochure-03-en.pdf).

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (FAO, 2006) supports the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity (also available at

Non-legally binding instruments, arrangements and processes

International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides (FAO, 1985, revised 2002) is a voluntary global framework that provides guidance on all aspects of pesticide management (also available at

The Forest Principles is the statement of a global consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, both natural and planted (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Agenda 21, 1992) (also available at

Criteria and Indicators Processes (1992–present) such as the Montreal, African Timber Organization, Dry Forest in Asia, Dry Zone Africa, International Timber Trade Organization, Lepaterique, Near East, Pan European and Tarapoto Processes help promote a better understanding of the concept and criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management (also available at

Code of Conduct for Germplasm Collecting and Transfer (FAO, 1993) is a voluntary global framework that provides for the rational collection and sustainable use of genetic resources (also available at

Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF, 1995–1997) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF, 1997-2000) propose actions for sustainable forest management (also available at

Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources (FAO, 1996) is a voluntary global framework that provides for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (also available at

United Nations Forum on Forests strengthens the long-term political commitment to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, including an instrument for the sustainable management of forests (UNFF, 2000–present) (also available at

Notable international milestones

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992), including Chapter II, Agenda 21 and Annex I, presents principles to guide states in balancing environmental and developmental considerations in policies and actions; Annex III contains the non-binding authoritative statement of The Forest Principles (also available at nfsunesco/pdf/RIO_E.PDF).

Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO, 1998) details the commitment by governments and employers' and workers' organizations to uphold basic human values vital to our social and economic lives (also available at .html).

International Expert Consultation on the Role of Planted Forests in Sustainable Forest Management (1999, Santiago, Chile) was held to assist the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) in recognizing and enhancing the role of planted forests as an important element of sustainable forest management. The meeting addressed the underlying causes of deforestation, the needs and requirements of countries with low forest cover, future supply and demand for wood and non-wood products, rehabilitation of degraded lands and other relevant issues (also available at

Millennium Declaration (United Nations, 2000) presents the values and principles of human dignity, equity, poverty eradication, protection of our common environment, human rights, democracy, gender equality, good governance and the formation of a global partnership for development (also available at

Millennium Development Goals (United Nations, 2000):

Goal 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Target 1. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day.

Target 2. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

Goal 2. Achieve universal primary education

Target 3. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women

Target 4. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and to all levels of education no later than 2015.

Goal 4. Reduce child mortality

Target 5. Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

Goal 5. Improve maternal health

Target 6. Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.

Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Target 7. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Target 8. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability

Target 9. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the losses of environmental resources.

Target 10. Halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Target 11. By 2020 to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

Goal 8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Target 12. Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system.

Target 13. Address the special needs of the least developed countries.

Target 14. Address the special needs of landlocked countries and small island developing states.

Target 15. Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term.

World Summit on Sustainable Development Declaration (WSSD, 2002) is the political declaration of a commitment to sustainable development, including protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development and sustainable development for Africa (also available at

Intersessional Expert Meeting of the UNFF on the Role of Planted Forests in Sustainable Forest Management (2003, Wellington, New Zealand) recommends, inter alia: that planted forests play an increasingly important role in the provision of a range of goods and environmental, social and cultural services; that they be considered as a mechanism for the alleviation of poverty; and that sustainable management of planted forests be achieved through the promotion and implementation of good governance frameworks and mechanisms (also available at

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page