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978 90 5727 012 2


352 pages


1998, out of print


Bas Arts : The Political Influence of Global NGOs

Case Studies on the Climate and Biodiversity Conventions



The world faces a number of international environmental problems today, such as ozone depletion, acidification, global warming and loss of biodiversity. To manage these problems international environmental policies have to be designed, with several countries and international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union acting as catalysts in their formation.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), however, also play a role. Indeed, some believe that it is impossible to overstate the importance of NGOs in international environmental policies. To assess this proposition, this book focuses on the NGOs' political influence on the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Both treaties were designed in the context of the UN system in the period 1990-92.They were signed by more than 150 countries at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, entered into force in 1993-94, and have since been implemented.

The Political Influence of Global NGOs reveals that organizations such as Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth International, Third World Network, World Wide Fund for Nature, and the World Conservation Union were able to impact both the content and the initial implementation of the two treaties, but to a limited extent only. This study therefore covers both successes and failures of NGOs. Factors which might explain success or failure have been identified and recommendations for increasing the political influence of NGOs have been fromulated.



'"A timely, thorough and insightful examination of the political dimensions and effects of non-governmental aid..." Alan Fowler

"A serious and significant contribution to a long-awaited debate on the role of external aid..." Jenny Pearce'


The Autor, Bas Arts, is a lecturer at the Department of Environmental Policy Sciences, Faculty of Policy Sciences, University of Nijmegen. Between 1989 and 1993 the autor was a researcher at the Peace Resaerch Centre of University of Nijmegen. He studied Biology Studies, specializing in environment and development from1980 to 1988. For more info see his website

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