Project on Environmental Law Effectiveness (PELE)

The Environmental Conventions Index (ECI) developed at UMass Boston is a scorecard of the implementation of international environmental agreements by their members. It analyzes the national compliance reports governments submit, scores the reported data and ranks countries on the degree to which they demonstrate progress toward the goals of the agreements. To date, the ECI offers rankings for six agreements in the areas of biodiversity, chemicals and waste, and world heritage for the period 2001-2015. Measuring the effectiveness of these agreements, however, is complex, as it requires an assessment of whether or not a given treaty has led to environmental progress on the ground. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) developed here at YCELP provides a snapshot of critical environmental issues at the country level and tracks environmental performance from 2001 to 2015. Using a broad set of indicators, it offers comparative rankings of how well countries manage their natural resources and address environmental problems. From two different perspectives, the ECI and EPI provide windows into what leads to effective implementation of international environmental agreements.

This project is focused on combining, integrating and building on the ECI and the EPI to create a new narrative and knowledge-sharing opportunities on implementation and effectiveness. Correlating these two indices will make it possible to determine whether the implementation of international environmental agreements leads to measurable progress in the specific area the agreement was designed to address. This will enable us to identify practical solutions to obstacles that inhibit progress on implementing international agreements. Collaborating with stakeholders and decision makers, we will develop in-depth case studies and policy dialogue and act upon the insights from the analysis through the network of motivated officials we convene. Ultimately, the goal is to support next generation leadership in international cooperation in order to catalyze transformative change toward enhanced implementation.