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Negotiating and Implementing MEAs: A Manual for NGOs


May 2007 Downloadable from


Foreword Achim Steiner UNEP Executive Director



 Written by  Felix Dodds (SF), Megan Howell (SF), Michael Strauss (Earth Media), Maria Onestini (CEDEA) and UNEP.

Introduction: Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss

 Written by  Felix Dodds (SF), Megan Howell (SF), Michael Strauss (Earth Media), Maria Onestini (CEDEA and UNEP.

Over the past several decades, the international community has established a range of legally binding agreements designed to tackle the worlds most serious environmental challenges. Each of these Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) focuses on a specific problem, be it hazardous waste, trade in endangered species, climate change or some other prevalent concerns at the time these agreements were developed. In parallel, the role played by NGOs in the international negotiation of MEAs and then, in their national and local application has grown considerably.

In this context and given these new challenges, this Manual attempts to link together two areas of MEA formulation and civil society participation. Its' goal is to both strengthen multi-stakeholder participation and increase political momentum for effective MEA development, implementation and enforcement.

The format of the Manual follows the sequence of governments’ and NGOs’ actual work on conferences and treaties. It provides background information and approaches, ‘inside the process’ guidance and expert advice on how stakeholders can effectively engage in developing and implementing MEAs.

This work is a collaborative effort made by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and three organizations that have teamed to produce this Manual: Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, el Centro de Estudios Ambientales - CEDEA and Earth Media.

This project is part of UNEP’s extensive involvement with MEAs – a role that includes serving as secretariat for specific MEAs, providing cooperation and support functions on many issues for national governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and local authorities. It is a companion to UNEPs Guidelines on Compliance with and Enforcement of MEAs (2002), and its' Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (2006).



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