Environmental policy integration among multilateral environmental agreements: the case of biodiversity

  • José Octavio Velázquez GomarEmail author
Original Paper


The system of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) comprises hundreds of conventions and protocols designed to protect the environment. Institutional interaction within the MEA system raises issues of environmental policy integration (EPI), i.e. balancing different environmental objectives and considerations. Mainstream proposals for enhancing EPI in environmental governance build upon the assumption that environmental institutions are fragmented. However, recent research reveals that the MEA system has been defragmenting over the years such that EPI is less a problem of institutional fragmentation than of effective management of institutional interplay. This paper examines the factors affecting EPI among MEAs by looking at experiences in the cluster of biodiversity-related multilateral agreements. The analysis is based on a series of interviews with MEA secretariat officials and international experts conducted between September 2011 and January 2012. The paper identifies institutional, political and cognitive barriers constraining interplay management efforts. While some have proposed regulatory changes in the cluster, national-level co-ordination appears to be the best way to advance EPI.


Multilateral environmental agreements Environmental policy integration International environmental governance Synergies Biodiversity-related conventions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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