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A Basic Guide to International Environmental Legal Research

An overview of resources for researching international environmental law.

Abbreviations & Treaty Links

It is helpful to decipher the tricky acronyms that emerge when studying international environmental law, especially in the context of the treaties and agreements.  Historically, the timeline of treaties that are often identified as monumental in the formation of international environmental law include: the Stockholm Conference (1972), UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) (1982), World Conference on Environment and Development (1987), UN Conference on Environment and Development (1992), and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002).  A helpful overview of international environmental law is provided inInternational Environmental Law in a Nutshell by Lakshman D. Guruswamy with Kevin L. Doran (West 2012) for those researchers unfamiliar with this area of international law.  As discussed below, there are also many sub-categories of treaties based on the type of environmental concern or prevention of certain types of deterioration or liabilities for pollution.  Here are some of the most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms for treaty research in international environmental law (however, keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list):

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