The 20th century has left us a sizeable and complex legacy of international conventions and treaties designed to protect the environment and its resources. These instruments were developed as a result of ecological disasters, overexploitation of natural resources, and the impact of human activities on environmental quality and natural resources. Most of these initiatives were undertaken in response to specific problems. However, since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and the signing of framework conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), there have been significant changes in the handling of pollution prevention and environmental resource management.