Past, present and future perspectives

Continued from previous page

Major developments which took place in the 1990s, and which have influenced policies in Africa, are listed in Table 1.6.

Table 1.6 Major events which shaped policies in Africa in the 1990s




  • After 27 years of political detention by apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela is finally released from prison, and preparations for a new political dispensation begin
  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer is amended in London, United Kingdom
  • The International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation is signed
  • Leaders of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) sign a Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC)
  • The Protocol to the Atlantic Treaty on the environment, reaffirming the status of the Atlantic Ocean as a special conservation area, is adopted in Madrid, Spain
  • The Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Waste within Africa is adopted
  • The Conference on the Environment is held in Dublin, Ireland; many African countries are present,
    and demand that water should be recognized both as a social and an economic good
  • The United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the
    Earth Summit, is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Agenda 21 is adopted by the international community
  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layeras amended in London,
    enters into force
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is adopted in New York, USA
    The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer further amended in
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal enters into force
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity is adopted
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity enters into force, in December
  • The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction
  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa
  • The Convention on Nuclear Safety South Africa abolishes its apartheid laws, general elections are held and Nelson Mandela becomes the first black president of a multiracial society
  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer as amended in Copenhagen, enters into force
  • The Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora
  • The SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems is adopted and signed by member states
  • The Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region enters into force
  • The Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region enters into force, 11 years after its adoption
  • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses
  • Parties to CITES gather in Harare, Zimbabwe, where they agree to relax the ban in international trade in ivory and other elephant products
  • The Rio +5 Summit is held in New York to review progress made since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992
  • The Bamako Convention comes into effect
  • The Protocol on Energy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region enters into
    force in April
Sources: SADC/IUCN/SARDC (1998) and UNEP/Sida (undated)