International Environmental Law Selected Bibliography

  1. General Information
  2. Treaties and Other International Agreement Research
    1. United States a Party
    2. United States Not a Party
    3. Treaty Indexes
    4. International Agreements (not Including Treaties)
    5. Courts' Interpretation of Treaties
  3. Major Environmental Treaties and Conventions
  4. Organizations
    1. Governmental Organizations
    2. Non-Governmental Organizations
  5. Current Awareness and Other Useful Information
  6. Research Guides

I. General Information

International Environmental Law in a Nutshell, by Lakshman Guruswamy (4th edition, 2012)

  • Call Number- K3585.6.G87 2012
  • Location- St. Thomas University Law Library, Study Aids

Guide to International Environmental Law, by Alexandre Charles Kiss (2007)

  • Call Number-K3585.K5695 2007
  • Location- St. Thomas University Law Library, General Collection
  • Note- A brief overview of international law with a focus on how international environmental law was formed as well as an analysis of newer topics such as environmental protection as a human right.

Documents in International Environmental Law, by Philippe Sands(2nd edition, 2004)

  • Call Number- K3583.D63 2004
  • Location- St. Thomas University Law Library, General Collection
  • Note- This work comprises a representative selection of international environmental treaties and documents, which are essential for anyone interested in international law in the field of environmental protection. This represents a collection of the most important documents, and aims to make the text and the key information on the legal status of the various acts, including its parties where a treaty is concerned, easily accessible.

The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, by Daniel Bodansky, ed. (2008)

  • Call Number- K3585.O96 2008
  • Location- St. Thomas University Law Library, Reference
  • Note- This work provides a "big-picture" view of global environmental agreements, regulations and practices while focusing on the concerns of international environmental law and practice.

II. Treaties and Other International Agreement Research

A. United States A Party

Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949

United States Treaties and Other International Agreements 1950 - current

B. United States Not A Party

United Nations Treaty Collection

United Nations Treaty Series

C. Treaty Indexes

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - Environmental Law Instruments

  • Public Access- InforMEA, available at
  • Note- Provides a directory of major multilateral environmental agreements classified by global/regional scope and an overall chronological listing beginning from 1933. Links are provided to the full text of the agreements and, where available, to the Conventions' Secretariats.


  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- This website, created by the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Conservation Union, provides a wonderful portal to searching for bibliographic information of treaties by sub-topic of international environmental law, as well as national legislation and court decisions.

Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)

  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- This website digitizes and indexes prominent international law documents and agreements, and provides comprehensive coverage of all treaties and agreements by sub-topic.

Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI)

  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- This collection contains a unique treaty locator by sub-topic of environmental law or title of the treaty. It is extremely helpful for locating full-text treaties, signatories and parties to the treaties, dates of the agreements and entry into force.

Treaties In Force - U.S. Department of State

  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- Treaties in Force is prepared by the Department of State for the purpose of providing information on treaties and other international agreements to which the United States has become a party and which are carried on the records of the Department of State as being in force as of its stated publication date.

Multilaterals Project - The Fletcher School at Tufts University

  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- This online multilateral treaty collection includes numerous agreements relating to international environmental law in full-text format.

Council of Europe Treaty Office

  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- The text of all Council of Europe treaties, their explanatory reports, the status of signatures and ratifications, the declarations and reservations made by States, as well as the notifications issued by the Treaty Office since 2005, are available on this website.

World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII)

  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- Through this initiative to digitize legal materials of nations of the countries of the world, researchers can locate applicable environmental treaties, especially for Australia, Asia, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific.

D. International Agreements (not including Treaties)

United States International Agreements

E. Courts' Interpretation of Treaties

International Law Reports, (domestic & international court opinions regarding treaties)

  • Call Number- KZ199 .I58
  • Location- St. Thomas University Law Library, General Collection


  • Public Access- available at
  • Note- This website, created by the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Conservation Union, provides search access to decisions of world courts regarding treaties and other international agreements.

III. Major Environmental Treaties and Conventions

Common Name Treaty/Convention Public Access Purpose
Agenda 21 Agenda 21 Agenda 21 was unveiled at the UNCED conference in Rio de Janerio and is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.
Basel Convention Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal An international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries. The Convention is also intended to minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound management.
Biodiversity Convention Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) A legally binding convention that has three main goals: 1) conservation of biological diversity, 2) sustainable use of its components, and 3) fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
Biosafety Protocol Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety A supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
CCAMLR Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Prohibits and regulates certain fishing and other shipping activities in the Antarctic region for the protection of the marine ecology.
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora The treaty's aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33,000 species of animals and plants.
Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Waters U.N. Convention intended to conserve and manage water resources for sustainable use and development.
Air Pollution Convention Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution CLRTAP is intended to protect the human environment against air pollution and to gradually reduce and prevent air pollution, including long-range transboundary air pollution.
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships MARPOL was designed to minimize pollution of the seas, including dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. EISIL states that MARPOL's objective is to "[to preserve the marine environment through the complete] elimination of intentional pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances."
International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling The convention seeks the protection of all whale species from overhunting, the establishment of a system of international regulation for the whale fisheries to ensure proper conservation and development of whale stocks, and safeguarding for future generations the great natural resources represented by whale stocks.
Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change Kyoto modified the emissions goals of UNFCCC with the intent of achieving the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.
Montreal Protocol Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer The treaty is designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.
North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation This NAFTA side-agreement consists of a declaration of principles and objectives concerning conservation and the protection of the environment as well as concrete measures to further cooperation on these matters between the three countries. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was set up as part of the agreement.
Stockholm Convention Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants This Treaty seeks to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
Stockholm Conference United Nations Conference on the Human Environment This conference was the UN's first major conference on international environmental issues, and marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics.
UNCLOS Convention on Law of the Sea The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
Rio Declaration U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Declaration) This conference produced the Rio Declaration, a set of 27 principles intended to guide future sustainable development worldwide.
UNFCCC U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change The objective of the treaty is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate. The treaty itself set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-binding. Instead, the treaty provides for updates (called "protocols") that would set mandatory emission limits. The Kyoto Protocol updated and modified the goals of UNFCCC.

IV. Organizations

A. Governmental Organizations

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • Public Access-
  • Note- UNEP is an international organization within the United Nations that coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices.

United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development

  • Public Access-
  • Note- The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership and is an authoritative source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development. It promotes sustainable development as the substantive secretariat to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and through technical cooperation and capacity building at international, regional and national levels, and does so through implementation of Agenda 21.

European Environment Agency

  • Public Access-
  • Note- The EEA is an agency of the European Union whose task is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. The EAA a major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • Public Access-
  • Note- IPCC is a scientific body that reviews and evaluates information produced about climate change.

B. Non-Governmental Organizations

Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

  • Public Access-
  • Note- Created under the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation to address regional environmental concerns, the CEC works to prevent trade and environmental conflicts and to promote the enforcement of environmental law.

International Environmental Law Research Center (IELCR)

  • Public Access-
  • Note- The IELCR, located in Geneva and New Delhi, serves as a forum for the development of legal and institutional frameworks that foster equitable and sustainable environmental management at the local, national and international level.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

  • Public Access-
  • Note- Provides access to publications, statistics, and scientific information.


  • Public Access-
  • Note- Greenpeace focuses on issues of global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and anti-nuclear issues. The website provides information about current campaigns and other emerging issues.

World Wildlife Fund International

  • Public Access-
  • Note- WWFI works on issues of conservation research and restoration of the environment, specifically focusing on issues directly relating to a select number of endangered species. The website provides information about ongoing projects and related issues as well as scientific data.

Current Awareness and Other Useful Information

UNEP Training Manual

  • Public Access-
  • Note- A comprehensive manual produced by UNEP covering a large number of topics in international environmental law including access to resources, international processes, various conventions and treaties, and much more.

International Environment Reporter

  • STU Access- BNA, available at
  • Note- This BNA resource provides regular updates including information about treaty developments, court decisions, and much more.

Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

VI. Research Guides

GlobaLex - A Basic Guide to International Environmental Legal Research

Georgetown University Law Center - International Environmental Law Research Guide

St. Thomas University School of Law - International Law Selected Bibliography

  • Location- St. Thomas University Law Library, Circulation/Reference Desk
  • Note- Provides a comprehensive view of international law that may be helpful for a more complete understanding of international environmental law. This resource also provides links to international law research guides and other useful materials.

Cornell University Law School - Legal Information Institute

  • Public Access- Cornell University Law School, available at
  • Note- Provides an overview of international law and specific subsections for particular aspects of international law, including international environmental law.