U.S. and U.S.S.R. Sign Environmental Cooperation Treaty

[U.S. State Department, Treaties and Other International Acts Series 7345 - May 23, 1972]

Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics;

Attaching great importance to the problems of environmental protection;

Proceeding on the assumption that the proper utilization of contemporary scientific, technical and managerial achievements can, with appropriate control of their undesirable consequences, make possible the improvement of the interrelationship between man and nature;

Considering that the development of mutual cooperation in the field of environmental protection, taking into account the experience of countries with different social and economic systems, will be beneficial to the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as to other countries;

Considering that economic and social development for the benefit of future generations requires the protection and enhancement of the human environment today;

Desiring to facilitate the establishment of closer and long-term cooperation between interested organizations of the two countries in this field;

In accordance with the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Exchanges and Cooperation in Scientific, Technical, Educational, Cultural, and Other Fields in 1972-1973, signed April 11, 1972, [1] and developing further the principles of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries;

Have agreed as follows:

1TIAS 7343; 23 UST.


The Parties will develop cooperation in the field of environmental protection on the basis of equality, reciprocity, and mutual benefit.


This cooperation will be aimed at solving the most important aspects of the problems of the environment and will be devoted to working out measures to prevent pollution, to study pollution and its effect on the environment, and to develop the basis for controlling the impact of human activities on nature.

It will be implemented, in particular, in the following areas:

  • air pollution;

  • water pollution;

  • environmental pollution associated with agricultural production;

  • enhancement of the urban environment;

  • preservation of nature and the organization of preserves;

  • marine pollution;

  • biological and genetic consequences of environmental pollution;

  • influence of environmental changes on climate;

  • earthquake prediction;

  • arctic and subarctic ecological systems;

  • legal and administrative measures for protecting environmental quality.

In the course of this cooperation the Parties will devote special attention to joint efforts improving existing technologies and developing new technologies which do not pollute the environment, to the introduction of these new technologies into everyday use, and to the study of their economic aspects.

The Parties declare that, upon mutual agreement, they will share the results of such cooperation with other countries.


The Parties will conduct cooperative activities in the field of environmental protection by the following means:

  • exchange of scientists, experts and research scholars;

  • organization of bilateral conferences, symposia and meetings of experts;

  • exchange of scientific and technical information and documentation, and the results of research on environment;

  • joint development and implementation of programs and projects in the field of basic and applied sciences;

  • other forms of cooperation which may be agreed upon in the course of the implementation of this Agreement.


Proceeding from the aims of this Agreement the Parties will encourage and facilitate, as appropriate, the establishment and development of direct contacts and cooperation between institutions and organizations, governmental, public and private, of the two countries, and the conclusion, where appropriate, of separate agreements and contracts.


For the implementation of this Agreement, a US-USSR Joint Committee on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection shall be established. As a rule this Joint Committee shall meet once a year in Washington and Moscow, alternately. The Joint Committee shall approve concrete measures and programs of cooperation, designate the participating organizations responsible for the realization of these programs and make recommendations, as appropriate, to the two Governments.

Each Party shall designate a coordinator. These coordinators, between sessions of the Joint Committee, shall maintain contact between the United States and Soviet parts, supervise the implementation of the pertinent cooperative programs, specify the individual sections of these programs, and coordinate the activities of organizations participating in environmental cooperation in accordance with this Agreement.


Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prejudice other agreements concluded between the two Parties.


This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature and shall remain in force for five years after which it will be extend for successive five year periods unless one Party notifies the other of the termination thereof not less than six months prior to its expiration.

The termination of this Agreement shall not affect the validity of agreements and contracts between interested institutions and organizations of the two countries concluded on the basis of this Agreement.

DONE on May 23, 1972 at Moscow in duplicate, in the English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.


Richard Nixon
President of the
United States of America


N. V. Podgorny
Chairman of the Presidium
of the Supreme Soviet
of the USSR