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Environmental Protection With Reference To Stockholm Declaration

Environmental changes caused by the increasing scale of human life have led many observers to conclude that the planet has entered the Anthropocene a geologic era signified by human impact on the biosphere.
  • International environmental law is the set of agreements and principles that reflects the world's collective effort to manage our transition to the Anthropocene by resolving our most serious environmental problems, including climate change, ozone depletion, and mass extinction of wildlife.
  • Generally, international environment law aims to achieve sustainable development i.e. development that allows people to have a high quality of life today without sacrificing the quality of life of future generations.

Stockholm Declaration:

The initial stages of the conference saw the emergence of two conflicting approaches. The first approach insisted that the primary concern of the conference should be regarding the human impact on the environment with emphasis on control of pollution and conservation of natural resources, whereas the second approach emphasized social and economic development as the real issue. The two seemingly opposite approaches were bridged by the evolution of the concept that environment protection was an essential element of social and economic development.
  • Principle 1 of the declaration provides that man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality, and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations.
  • According to principle 2, the natural resources of the earth must be safeguarded for the benefit of present and future generations
  • Principle 3 provides that the capacity of the earth to produce vital renewable resources must be maintained.
  • Principle 4 further provides that man has a special responsibility to safeguard and wisely manage the wildlife and its habitat.
  • Principle 5 says the non-renewable resources of the earth must be employed in such a way as to guard against the danger of their future exhaustion and to ensure that all mankind shares benefits from such employment.
  • Principle 6 provides that the discharge of toxic substances or the other substances and the release of heat, in such quantities or concentrations as to exceed the capacity of the environment to render them harmless, must be halted to ensure that serious or irreversible damage is not inflicted upon ecosystems.
  • According to principle 11, the environmental policies of all States should enhance and not adversely affect the present or future development potential of developing countries, nor should they hamper the attainment of better living conditions for all.
  • Principle 13 further provides that to achieve more rational management of resources and thus to improve the environment, states should adopt an integrated and coordinated approach to their development planning to ensure that development is compatible with the need to protect and improve the human environment for the benefit of their population.
  • Principle 14 underlines the concept that rational planning constitutes an essential tool for reconciling any conflict between the needs of development and the need to protect and improve the environment.

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