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Panama: Accession to Multilateral Treaty on Invasive Species

(Dec. 5, 2016) In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced that Panama has acceded to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (known as the Ballast Water Management, or BWM, Convention). Panama is the 53rd country to take that step.  Panama is the largest shipping industry […]

European Union: Ratification of Treaty of Paris on Climate Change

(Oct. 12, 2016) On October 4, 2016, the European Parliament (EP) ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change. The majority of the Members of the EP, 610, voted in favor of ratification, with 38 against and 31 abstentions.  (Aline Robert, MEPs Vote to Ratify Paris Agreement, EURACTIV (Oct. 4, 2016); The Paris Agreement, United Nations […]

United Nations: Ban on Trade in African Grey Parrots

(Oct. 4, 2016) The United Nations has effectively banned trade in the African grey parrot by placing it on a priority list of endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The decision came after a two-week meeting on the Convention in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Tanisha Heiberg, Global Trade in Wild African […]

UN: Call to Include Human Rights Provisions in Trade Agreements and Dispute Resolution

(Sept. 27, 2016) On September 13, 2016, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, called for all future trade agreements to include provisions extolling the primary importance of human rights. He also said that the treaties should be aligned with the duty that states […]

ICC: Court to Expand Focus to Environmental and Other Serious Crimes

(Sept. 26, 2016) On September 15, 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will work on prosecuting environmental and other serious crimes. The announcement came in a press release and policy paper on how the Court will prioritize and select cases. By publishing the paper, described as an “internal document,” the Court hopes […]

Norway: Procurement Law to Stem Deforestation, Protect Human Rights Adopted

(Sept. 16, 2016) On June 17, 2016, the Norwegian Parliament passed a new procurement law that mandates consideration of environmental consequences, human rights, and other social effects in public procurement processes. (Lov om Offentlige Anskaffelser (Anskaffelsesloven), LOV 2016-06-17-73 [Procurement Act No. 73 of June 17, 2016], LOVDATA.) This goal is spelled out in article 5 […]

Peru: Paris Accord on Climate Change Ratified

(Sept. 2, 2016) On July 21, 2016, Peru ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, adopted in Paris, France, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). (Ratifican el Acuerdo de París [Ratification of the Paris Agreement], EL PERUANO (July 25, 2016); Paris Agreement (Dec. 12, 2015), UNFCCC website.) On July 25, 2016, Peru deposited […]

China: New Wildlife Protection Law

(Aug. 5, 2016) On July 2, 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) revised the Wildlife Protection Law.  This is the first time the Law has been substantively revised since its promulgation in the 1980s.  The revised Law will take effect on January 1, 2017.  (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo […]

Japan: Act Aims to Promote Trade in Legally Produced Timber

(July 28, 2016) Japan’s Act on Promotion of Distribution and Use of Legally Logged Wood Products was promulgated on May 20, 2016.  (Act No. 48 of 2016, OFFICIAL GAZETTE (in Japanese).)  Under the new Act, wood product companies may apply for registration, certifying that they will apply measures to trade only in legally produced timber in their […]

Japan: PCB Special Measures Act Amended

(July 25, 2016) An amendment to the Act on Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) (PCB Special Measures Act) was promulgated by the Japanese government on May 2, 2016. (Act No. 34 of 2016, OFFICIAL GAZETTE (in Japanese).) PCBs, which are ”man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine atoms,” have been shown “to cause […]