international environmental law

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International environmental law (sometimes, international ecological law) is a field of international law regulating the behavior of states and international organizations with respect to the environment.  See Phillipe Sands, Principles of International Environmental Law (2nd ed., Cambridge, 2003).  Core domains for international regulation include management of the world's oceans and fisheries, the polar ice caps, and the regulation of carbon and other particulate emisssions into the atmosphere. 

The main international treaties concerning the environment are: 

  1. 1972 UN Convention on the Human Environment;
  2. 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which produced the Rio Declaration;
  3. 1997 Kyoto Protocol, entered into force on February 16, 2005;
  4. 2002 World Earth Summit
  1. Anne Burnett, ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law: International Environmental Law, available here.
  2. United Nations Environment Programme (;
  3. Convention on Biological Diversity (