A broad range of international environmental conventions is the framework for our daily work with the environment and cooperation within the EU is a central part of Danish environment policy.
Many environmental problems are inherently transboundary, for example chemicals harmful to human health. A number of international conventions and protocols are therefore the focal point of much environmental cooperation in which the Danish EPA takes part.
These conventions are either global or regional according to the nature of the environmental problem they address, and usually they are anchored in the United Nations. Furthermore, the conventions are often named after the place where they were adopted and signed.
In the Danish EPA we help manage a number of conventions on behalf of the Danish government and we take part in the negotiations preceding the adoption of an international convention or protocol.
The most important conventions that fall under the Danish EPA’s field of activity are listed below and these serve as a natural umbrella for Danish EPA environmental work.
Chemicals and pesticides
The Stockholm Convention from 2001 is about persistent organic pollutants. The Convention covers the "dirty dozen": twelve hazardous substances, including e.g. PCB, DDT and dioxin. The Convention prohibits the use, production, import or export of the 12 substances.
The Rotterdam Convention from 1998 is about a procedure for import and export of certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in connection with international trade. The Convention covers industrial chemicals, pesticides and pesticides mixtures.
The Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol from 1987 regulate the use of ozone-depleting substances. The Montreal Protocol has had the positive effect that a wide range of ozone-depleting substances have been phased out, for example CFC gases.Hazardous wasteThe Basel Convention from 1989 on waste is best known for its ban on the export of hazardous waste from OECD countries to poor countries. The objective of the Convention is to regulate transboundary movements of hazardous waste.Air pollutionThe Geneva Convention from 1979 was adopted under the auspices of the United Nations and it deals with long-range transboundary air pollution. This Convention forms the framework for a number of protocols on emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic hydrocarbons, ammonia, POPs (persistent organic pollutants), and heavy metals.
Handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs)Denmark ratified the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety on 27 August 2002 and it entered into force on 11 September 2003.
The objective of the Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) from modern biotechnology.
As a Party to the Protocol Denmark is obliged to exchange information on the transboundary movement of LMOs. In order to facilitate the sharing of information between Parties, the Secretariat of the Protocol has established a website (the BCH) where Parties can register and share information on LMO’s .
To learn more please visit the: Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) or the webpage of the Protocol.
Environmental rightsThe Aarhus Convention from 1998 concerns the environmental rights of citizens. The Convention is an agreement under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which consists of the European countries, former Soviet states, the United States and Canada.