International Relations and the environment: practical examples of environmental multilateralism

International Relations and the environment: practical examples of environmental multilateralism

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Filipa Tiago Gomes

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PhD student, Public Policies PhD Program at ISCTE-IUL. Master's in Land Management – Environment and Natural Resources by Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), 2012. Undergraduate degree in International Relations, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, 2009.


The “environmental crisis” we experience today and the international community’s struggle to develop environmental standards to reach the epic “sustainable development” are widely known topics. What is needed, then, is an urgent and determined practice, which is only possible if international governance is structured, coherent and effective. The optimization of Environmental Multilateralism (the joining of what are considered the “driving forces” of Environmental International Relations: Law, Politics and international Diplomacy) contributes greatly to this end. To understand its basic concepts and systems, as for example, its actors, negotiation and implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and the carrying out of their Regimes, as well as their development in the United Nations, these are all crucial elements for its improvement and optimization. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) and “its” Conventions are important examples in the history of Environmental Multilateralism, still very up-to-date not only due to the 20th anniversary of the “Rio Conference” but also due to the continuity and importance that the “Rio Conventions” and their Conferences of Parties (COP) still have. This papers aims to analyze this area of studies transversal to International Relations and to the Environment, namely by studying the relation between the theory of Environmental Multilateralism and its practice.


International Relations; Environment; Environmental Multilateralism; International Environmental Governance

How to cite this article

Gomes, Filipa Tiago (2012). "International Relations and the environment: practical examples of environmental multilateralism". JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations, Vol. 3, N.º 2, fall 2012. retrieved [online] date accessed,

Article received on 7th February 2012; accepted for publication on 20th July 2012