Over the past four decades the international community has developed and adopted Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), which under international law are fundamental for assisting countries to work together on global environmental issues.
Recognizing that these agreements will only be effective if they are properly implemented and enforced, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has over the years developed educational materials and supported various capacity-building activities focusing on the MEAs.
As part of this continuing effort to highlight the importance of implementation and enforcement, UNEP and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law have created and are launching today a university-level course on “Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements”. The course has benefited from the input of many scholars and other experts around the world working in the field of environmental law.
The primary target audience for the course is law students, as well as students of international relations, environmental management and other disciplines linked to the study of the environment. After completion of the Compliance coursework, the students will have a better understanding of international environmental law in general as well as of the main challenges for effective compliance and enforcement of the MEAs.
Education has always been a priority for UNEP. Its annual training programme with Germany’s Dresden University on environmental management has been ongoing since 1977. Over the past three years, UNEP has also worked closely with over 90 universities across 42 countries in Africa in building a programme for bringing environmental concerns and solutions into higher education. Known as the Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities (MESA), this successful project is now being considered for replication in Caribbean universities under the Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in the Caribbean (MESCA) partnership programme.