These instruments comprise laws and regulations developed by governments at different levels for the protection of the environment, the development of sustainable production systems, and the enhancement of human wellbeing.

Rights of Nature (RoN)

Rights of Nature (RoN) is a legal instrument that enables nature, wholly or partly, i.e. ecosystems or species, to have inherent rights and legally should have the same protection as people and corporations; that ecosystems and species have legal rights to exist, thrive and regenerate.  It enables the defense of the environment in court – not only for the benefit of people, but for the sake of nature itself. 


Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL)

Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) in China permits qualified environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to file litigation to protect the public interest in safeguarding the environment and natural resources from pollution and ecological destruction. EPIL is a non-profit activity which not only plays the relief role to harm which has already occurred in the environment but also plays a role in the prevention and avoidance of future harm or damage to the environment.

Ecological Fiscal Transfers

Ecological Fiscal Transfers (EFT) distribute a share of intergovernmental fiscal transfers and revenue sharing schemes according to ecological indicators such as protected areas or watershed management areas. These conservation areas thus become a source of income for the receiving governments. EFT were invented as a compensation scheme for municipalities. Today, EFT are often seen as an instrument that incentivizes decentralized conservation efforts. There are exisisting EFT schemes at subnational level in Brazil and national level in Portugal.

Marine Protected Areas

Intense exploitation of our oceans and seas is degrading marine biodiversity and ecosystems at an alarming rate. This report presents good practice insights for effectively managing marine protected areas (MPAs), one of the policy instruments available for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity and ecosystems. While global coverage of MPAs has been increasing over the past two decades, further efforts are required to meet the target under the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure they are effective.

Locally Managed Marine Area

A Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) is an area of nearshore waters and its associated coastal and marine resources that is largely or wholly managed at a local level by the coastal communities, land-owning groups, partner organizations, and/or collaborative government representatives who reside or are based in the immediate area.

Pesticide management

Pesticide management is embodied by a number of national and international regulations and policy conventions that govern all aspects of pesticide manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal. The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management is the most comprehensive of these international instruments, and although its provisions are voluntary, the plant science industry is committed to adherence to its 12 articles (

Protected areas

A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values (IUCN Definition 2008).

Marine resource management

A wide range of approaches are currently used to manage marine resources. These include centralized approaches (e.g. ocean zoning, limiting ocean access through permits or the establishment of marine protected areas, regulating gear use or species harvested, or enforcing fish catch limits) and community-based approaches and informal or traditional management regimes, as well as a hybrid of techniques dependent on local social-ecological contexts.

International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management

The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management provides a voluntary framework and standards for managing pesticides throughout their life cycle. The Code is directed primarily at government authorities and the pesticide industry but is also relevant for other stakeholders. The Code has been endorsed by the FAO members and is supported by key pesticide industry associations and civil society organizations.