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Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
Kuokkanen T. (2007) “The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution”, in in Ulfstein G. with Marauhn T. and Zimmermann A. (eds) Making Treaties Work: Human Rights, Environment and Arms Control, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 161-178.

Abstract: In the late 1960s and the 1970s, scientists demonstrated the interrelationship between the long-range transport of air pollutants and the acidification of lakes and forest death in Scandinavia, Central Europe and North America. To describe this phenomenon, the concept of transboundary air pollution was introduced to underscore the fact that air pollutants do not respect national boundaries, and that there was a need for international action.
Intensive diplomatic activities finally led, in 1979, to the conclusion of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (the ‘LRTAP Convention’) under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The Convention was concluded by almost all countries of Western and Eastern Europe and by the United States and Canada. Currently, there are forty-nine parties to the Convention.
The Convention includes general provisions on policies and strategies, research, exchange of information and institutional setting. In order to monitor the deposition and concentration of air pollutants, the Convention integrated the EMEP monitoring programme (‘Co-operative Programme for the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-Range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe’) into its framework. Furthermore, the Convention contains provisions that the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe serves as the Secretariat of the Convention.
The Convention does not include specific reduction limits or control measures, but rather provides a framework within which the contracting parties can agree on specific regulations. To this end, the Executive Body was established to serve as the supreme body of the Convention.


Birnie P., Boyle A. and Redgwell C. (2009), International Law and the Environment, 3rd edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press, p. 342-349.