Clarify the differences between being a party to a convention/treaty and being a signatory and what are the legal implications.

A country may become a party to a treaty through more than one path. One path is to sign the treaty during the period in which the treaty is open for signature and then to ratify the treaty. However, country may also become a party by acceding to or by accepting the treaty.

When a country becomes a signatory to a treaty, it declares its intention to make the terms of the treaty legally binding on itself, but the act itself does not make that act binding. When a country ratifies a treaty, it makes the terms of the treaty legally binding, once the treaty’s requirements for entry into force are met.

For example, the U.S. has signed the Kyoto Protocol, but not ratified it. The Kyoto Protocol is not binding on the U.S.

Members of the European Union have both signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol; when the Kyoto Protocol meets the minimum requirements for entry into force, the protocol will be binding on them. Kyoto has not yet met those requirements, however, so Kyoto is not legally binding on any country.

Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators

  1. Clarify the differences between being a party to a convention/treaty and being a signatory and what are the legal implications.
  2. How do I create a Treaty Status Matrix?
  3. How do I determine which countries are Party or Signatory to a given treaty?
  4. How do I search within a set of treaties to find the ones that a specific set of countries have signed?
  5. How do I use the Data Cart?
  6. I am currently a student in Scotland and I am looking for information regarding laws on pollution and industry to help with my first year dissertation on Venezuela. Any information that you could send me would be greatly appreciated.
  7. I have a list of states that are parties to a given treaty. The states are listed in one column and "Date Entered into Force" in another column. What does it mean when a state is listed in the left hand column but no date is entered in the second column (it is blank)?
  8. I was wondering if I could get more information on how these treaties have been sorted in your database. What was the criteria for classifying these as "international environmental treaties"? Some of them seem to deal only with fisheries jurisdiction or other similar issues. I am planning to use this information for a graduate research project on the factors that influence how many international environmental treaties a nation is involved in. More information on how the classification was done would be extremely helpful.
  9. We are updating our list of ratifiers to treaties, and can't seem to find a current list of the parties to the 1991 Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. Could you help? I've checked several Websites and seen several member lists, but they are not up-to-date.
  10. How up to date are the data in ENTRI?

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