The aim of international co-operation is to contribute to and increase environmental awareness, improve the state of the environment and implement the principles of sustainable development in Estonia, Europe and the whole world.
In our international co-operation we keep two important aspects in mind:
- Using international experience in the field of environmental protection and support from other countries to improve the state of the environment in Estonia;
- Sharing Estonia’s experience and supporting countries who are interested.
Environmental co-operation can be divided into four main areas:
- Bilateral co-operation or co-operation between countries;
- Regional co-operation or co-operation between the Baltic Sea countries;
- Co-operation with European countries, especially in the European Union;
- Global co-operation.
What has been achieved?
- In order to strengthen international relations, Estonia has joined the most important global and regional conventions and signed other multilateral international agreements;
- Estonia has concluded bilateral environmental protection agreements with all of its neighbouring countries;
- With performing its obligations (membership fees and reports) arising from international agreements, the Ministry is a reliable partner to its international counterparts;
- The Ministry successfully participates in the work of institutions of the European Union;
- A system for preparing and protecting Estonia’s positions has been developed and is successfully being implemented in the development of the environmental policy of the European Union;
- The Ministry has begun with the development cooperation in the field of the environment.
Estonia has joined the following conventions:
Conventions regarding the protection of seas and sea pollution
Conventions regarding the protection of internal waters
Conventions regarding hazardous waste
Conventions on nature conservation
Conventions regarding the prevention and avoidance of atmosphere pollution
Conventions regulating nuclear issues
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
The horizontal conventions on the environment:
Multilateral contracts and agreements on the environment:
- Agreement on cooperation between the State Committee of Environmental Protection of Latvia, the Environmental Protection Department of Lithuania and the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia on environmental protection and regulation of the use of natural resources (Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius on 10, 17 and 19 December 1990, respectively).
- Agreement on the environmental co-operation between The Government of the Republic of Estonia, The Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Tallinn, 21 July 1995).
- Memorandum of co-operation between Estonia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Lithuania, Sweden and Ireland on creating the Emissions Registry (Tallinn, 15 November 2004).
Bilateral environmental agreements can be divided into three:
Framework agreements normally play a pioneering role in certain areas in the relations between two countries. Environmental framework agreements regulate the principles, areas and forms of co-operation as well as institutions responsible for developing further co-operation based on the principles of sustainable development.
Agreements on fisheries
Agreements on fisheries regulate the protection and principles of fishing and fish stocks, fishing regions, conservation of resources, principles of protection and use, principles of scientific and other research conduct, principles of access to resources, etc.
In addition, the agreement regulates the institutions responsible for the implementation of the agreements and further co-operation as well as the principles of consultations. Specific fishing quotas are agreed on based on separate protocols.
Other agreements regulating the environmental sectors.