The Vienna Convention
In 1985, nations agreed in Vienna to take "appropriate measures...to protect
human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely
to result from human activities which modify or are likely to modify the Ozone
Layer", thus the Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was born.
The main thrust of the Convention was to encourage research and overall cooperation
among countries and exchange of information. Even so it took four years to prepare
and agree. Twenty nations signed it in Vienna, but most did not rush to ratify
it. The Convention provided for future protocols and specified procedures for
Amendment and dispute settlement.
The Vienna Convention set an important precedent. For the first time nations
agreed in principle to tackle a global environmental problem before its effects
were felt, or even scientifically proven.
As the experts began to explore for specific measures to be taken, the journal
'Nature' published a paper in May 1985 by British scientists - led by Dr. Joe
Farman - about severe ozone depletion in the Antarctic. The paper's findings
were confirmed by American satellite observations and offered the first proof
of severe ozone depletion and making the need for definite measures more urgent.
As a result, In September 1987, agreement was reached on specific measures to
be taken and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
View the full text of the Vienna