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Sustainable development
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Wind powers 5 MW wind turbines on a wind farm 28 km off the coast of Belgium.
Sustainable development (SD) is a process for meeting human development goals while
maintaining the ability of natural systems to continue to provide the natural resources and
ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend[citation needed]. While the modern
concept of sustainable development is derived most strongly from the 1987 Brundtland Report, it
is rooted in earlier ideas about sustainable forest management and twentieth century
environmental concerns[citation needed].
Sustainable development is the organizing principle for sustaining finite resources necessary to
provide for the needs of future generations of life on the planet. It is a process that envisions a
desirable future state for human societies in which living conditions and resource-use continue to

meet human needs without undermining the "integrity, stability and beauty" of natural biotic
systems.[1]

Contents

1 Definition

2 Dimensions
o 2.1 Ecology

2.1.1 Environment

2.1.2 Agriculture

2.1.3 Energy

2.1.4 Transportation

o 2.2 Economics

2.2.1 Business

2.2.2 Income

2.2.3 Architecture

o 2.3 Politics
o 2.4 Culture

3 Themes
o 3.1 Progress
o 3.2 Measurement
o 3.3 Natural capital
o 3.4 Business-as-usual

4 Historical Development

5 See also

6 References

7 Literature cited

8 Further reading

9 External links

Definition
Sustainability can be defined as the practice of reserving resources for future generation without
any harm to the nature and other components of it .[2][unreliable source?][3] Sustainable development ties
together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social, political, and
economic challenges faced by humanity. Sustainability science is the study of the concepts of
sustainable development and environmental science. There is an additional focus on the present
generations' responsibility to regenerate, maintain and improve planetary resources for use by
future generations.[4]

Dimensions
See also: Planetary boundaries and Triple bottom line

Scheme of sustainable development:


at the confluence of three constituent parts. (2006)

Sustainable development has been described in terms of three dimensions, domains or pillars. In
the three-dimension model, these are seen as "economic, environmental and social" or "ecology,
economy and equity";[5] this has been expanded by some authors to include a fourth pillar of
culture,[6][7] institutions or governance.[5]

Ecology
See also: Ecological engineering

Relationship between ecological footprint and Human Development Index (HDI)


The ecological sustainability of human settlements is part of the relationship between humans
and their natural, social and built environments.[8] Also termed human ecology, this broadens the
focus of sustainable development to include the domain of human health. Fundamental human
needs such as the availability and quality of air, water, food and shelter are also the ecological
foundations for sustainable development;[9] addressing public health risk through investments in
ecosystem services can be a powerful and transformative force for sustainable development
which, in this sense, extends to all species.[10]
Environment
See also: Environmental engineering and Environmental technology

The Blue Marble, photographed from Apollo 17 in 1972, quickly became an icon of
environmental conservation.[11]
Environmental sustainability concerns the natural environment and how it endures and remains
diverse and productive. Since natural resources are derived from the environment, the state of air,
water, and the climate are of particular concern. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report outlines
current knowledge about scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning
climate change, and lists options for adaptation and mitigation.[12] Environmental sustainability
requires society to design activities to meet human needs while preserving the life support
systems of the planet. This, for example, entails using water sustainably, utilizing renewable

energy, and sustainable material supplies (e.g. harvesting wood from forests at a rate that
maintains the biomass and biodiversity).[citation needed]
An unsustainable situation occurs when natural capital (the sum total of nature's resources) is
used up faster than it can be replenished. Sustainability requires that human activity only uses
nature's resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally. Inherently the concept of
sustainable development is intertwined with the concept of carrying capacity. Theoretically, the
long-term result of environmental degradation is the inability to sustain human life. Such
degradation on a global scale should imply an increase in human death rate until population falls
to what the degraded environment can support[citation needed]. If the degradation continues beyond a
certain tipping point or critical threshold it would lead to eventual extinction for humanity.[citation
needed]

Consumption of renewable resources State of environment


Sustainability
More than nature's ability to replenish Environmental degradation Not sustainable
Equal to nature's ability to replenish
Environmental equilibrium Steady state economy
Less than nature's ability to replenish Environmental renewal
Environmentally sustainable
Integral elements for a sustainable development are research and innovation activities. A telling
example is the European environmental research and innovation policy, which aims at defining
and implementing a transformative agenda to greening the economy and the society as a whole
so to achieve a truly sustainable development. Research and innovation in Europe is financially
supported by the programme Horizon 2020, which is also open to participation worldwide.[13] An
promising direction towards sustainable development is to design systems that are flexible and
reversible [14][15]
Agriculture
See also: Sustainable agriculture
Sustainable agriculture consists of environmentally-friendly methods of farming that allow the
production of crops or livestock without damage to human or natural systems. It involves
preventing adverse effects to soil, water, biodiversity, surrounding or downstream resourcesas
well as to those working or living on the farm or in neighboring areas. The concept of sustainable
agriculture extends intergenerationally, passing on a conserved or improved natural resource,
biotic, and economic base rather than one which has been depleted or polluted.[16] Elements of
sustainable agriculture include permaculture, agroforestry, mixed farming, multiple cropping,
and crop rotation.[17]
Numerous sustainability standards and certification systems have been established in recent
years, offering consumer choices for sustainable agriculture practices. These include Organic
certification, Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, UTZ Certified, Bird Friendly, and the Common
Code for the Coffee Community (4C).[18][19]
Energy

Main articles: Smart grid and Sustainable energy


Sustainable energy is the sustainable provision of energy that is clean and lasts for a long period
of time. Unlike the fossil fuel that most of the countries are using, renewable energy only
produces little or even no pollution.[20] The most common types of renewable energy in US are
solar and wind energy, solar energy are commonly used on public parking meter, street lights and
the roof of buildings.[21] Wind energy has expanded quickly, generating 12,000 MW in 2013. The
largest wind power station is in Texas and California.[22][23] Household energy consumption can
also be improved in a sustainable way, like using electronics with Energy Star logos which
conserve water and energy. Most of Californias fossil fuel infrastructures are sited in or near
low-income communities, and have traditionally suffered the most from Californias fossil fuel
energy system. These communities are historically left out during the decision-making process,
and often end up with dirty power plants and other dirty energy projects that poison the air and
harm the area. These toxicants are major contributors to health problems in the communities. As
renewable energy becomes more common, fossil fuel infrastructures is replaced by renewables,
providing better social equity to these community.[24]
Transportation
See also: Sustainable transport
Transportation is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It is said that one-third of all
gasses produced are due to transportation.[25] Some western countries are making transportation
more sustainable in both long-term and short-term implementations.[26] An example is the
modifications in available transportation in Freiburg, Germany. The city has implemented
extensive methods of public transportation, cycling, and walking, along with large areas where
cars are not allowed.[25]
Since many western countries are highly automobile-orientated areas, the main transit that
people use is personal vehicles. About 80% of their travel involves cars.[25] Therefore, California,
deep in the automobile-oriented west, is one of the highest greenhouse gases emitters in the
country. The federal government has to come up with some plans to reduce the total number of
vehicle trips in order to lower greenhouse gases emission. Such as:

Improve public transit through the provision of larger coverage area in order to provide
more mobility and accessibility, new technology to provide a more reliable and
responsive public transportation network.[27]

Encourage walking and biking through the provision of wider pedestrian pathway, bike
share station in commercial downtown, locate parking lot far from the shopping center,
limit on street parking, slower traffic lane in downtown area.

Increase the cost of car ownership and gas taxes through increased parking fees and tolls,
encouraging people to drive more fuel efficient vehicles. They can produce social equity
problem, since lower people usually drive older vehicles with lower fuel efficiency.

Government can use the extra revenue collected from taxes and tolls to improve the
public transportation and benefit the poor community.[28]
Other states and nations have built efforts to translate knowledge in behavioral economics into
evidence-based sustainable transportation policies.[citation needed]

Economics

A sewage treatment plant that uses solar energy, located at Santuari de Lluc monastery, Majorca.
See also: Ecological economics
It has been suggested that because of rural poverty and overexploitation, environmental
resources should be treated as important economic assets, called natural capital.[29] Economic
development has traditionally required a growth in the gross domestic product. This model of
unlimited personal and GDP growth may be over.[30] Sustainable development may involve
improvements in the quality of life for many but may necessitate a decrease in resource
consumption.[31] According to ecological economist Malte Faber, ecological economics is defined
by its focus on nature, justice, and time. Issues of intergenerational equity, irreversibility of
environmental change, uncertainty of long-term outcomes, and sustainable development guide
ecological economic analysis and valuation.[32]
As early as the 1970s, the concept of sustainability was used to describe an economy "in
equilibrium with basic ecological support systems."[33] Scientists in many fields have highlighted
The Limits to Growth,[34][35] and economists have presented alternatives, for example a 'steady
state economy';[36] to address concerns over the impacts of expanding human development on the
planet. In 1987 the economist Edward Barbier published the study The Concept of Sustainable
Economic Development, where he recognized that goals of environmental conservation and
economic development are not conflicting and can be reinforcing each other.[37]
A World Bank study from 1999 concluded that based on the theory of genuine savings,
policymakers have many possible interventions to increase sustainability, in macroeconomics or
purely environmental.[38] A study from 2001 noted that efficient policies for renewable energy
and pollution are compatible with increasing human welfare, eventually reaching a golden-rule
steady state.[39] The study, Interpreting Sustainability in Economic Terms, found three pillars of
sustainable development, interlinkage, intergenerational equity, and dynamic efficiency.[40]

A meta review in 2002 looked at environmental and economic valuations and found a lack of
sustainability policies.[41] A study in 2004 asked if we consume too much.[42] A study concluded
in 2007 that knowledge, manufactured and human capital(health and education) has not
compensated for the degradation of natural capital in many parts of the world.[43] It has been
suggested that intergenerational equity can be incorporated into a sustainable development and
decision making, as has become common in economic valuations of climate economics.[44] A
meta review in 2009 identified conditions for a strong case to act on climate change, and called
for more work to fully account of the relevant economics and how it affects human welfare.[45]
According to John Baden[46] the improvement of environment quality depends on the market
economy and the existence of legitimate and protected property rights. They enable the
effective practice of personal responsibility and the development of mechanisms to protect the
environment. The State can in this context create conditions which encourage the people to save
the environment.[47]
Business
See also: Corporate sustainability
The most broadly accepted criterion for corporate sustainability constitutes a firms efficient use
of natural capital. This eco-efficiency is usually calculated as the economic value added by a firm
in relation to its aggregated ecological impact.[48] This idea has been popularised by the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) under the following definition: "Ecoefficiency is achieved by the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy
human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and
resource intensity throughout the life-cycle to a level at least in line with the earths carrying
capacity." (DeSimone and Popoff, 1997: 47)[49]
Similar to the eco-efficiency concept but so far less explored is the second criterion for corporate
sustainability. Socio-efficiency[50] describes the relation between a firm's value added and its
social impact. Whereas, it can be assumed that most corporate impacts on the environment are
negative (apart from rare exceptions such as the planting of trees) this is not true for social
impacts. These can be either positive (e.g. corporate giving, creation of employment) or negative
(e.g. work accidents, mobbing of employees, human rights abuses). Depending on the type of
impact socio-efficiency thus either tries to minimize negative social impacts (i.e. accidents per
value added) or maximise positive social impacts (i.e. donations per value added) in relation to
the value added.[citation needed]
Both eco-efficiency and socio-efficiency are concerned primarily with increasing economic
sustainability. In this process they instrumentalize both natural and social capital aiming to
benefit from win-win situations. However, as Dyllick and Hockerts[50] point out the business case
alone will not be sufficient to realise sustainable development. They point towards ecoeffectiveness, socio-effectiveness, sufficiency, and eco-equity as four criteria that need to be met
if sustainable development is to be reached.[citation needed]
Income

At the present time, sustainable development as well as solidarity or Catholic social teaching can
impact reduce the poverty. Because over many thousands of years the stronger (economically
or physically) used to defeat/eliminate the weaker, nowadays, no matter what we call the reason
for this decision within Catholic social teaching, social solidarity, and sustainable
development the stronger helps the weaker. This aid may take the form of in-kind or material,
refer to the present or the future. The Stronger, should offer real help and not, as demonstrated
by the frequent experience strive for the elimination or annihilation of another entity.
Sustainable development reduce poverty through economic (among other things, a balanced
budget), environmental (living conditions) and also social (including equality of income)
dimensions.[51]
Architecture
See also: Sustainable architecture
In sustainable architecture the recent movements of New Urbanism and New Classical
architecture promote a sustainable approach towards construction, that appreciates and develops
smart growth, architectural tradition and classical design.[52][53] This in contrast to modernist and
International Style architecture, as well as opposing to solitary housing estates and suburban
sprawl, with long commuting distances and large ecological footprints.[54] Both trends started in
the 1980s. (It should be noted that sustainable architecture is predominantly relevant to the
economics domain while architectural landscaping pertains more to the ecological domain.)[citation
needed]

Politics
See also: Environmental politics, Environmental governance and Sustainability metrics and
indices
A study concluded that social indicators and, therefore, sustainable development indicators, are
scientific constructs whose principal objective is to inform public policy-making.[55] The
International Institute for Sustainable Development has similarly developed a political policy
framework, linked to a sustainability index for establishing measurable entities and metrics. The
framework consists of six core areas, international trade and investment, economic policy,
climate change and energy, measurement and assessment, natural resource management, and the
role of communication technologies in sustainable development.
The United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme has defined sustainable political
development is a way that broadens the usual definition beyond states and governance. The
political is defined as the domain of practices and meanings associated with basic issues of social
power as they pertain to the organisation, authorisation, legitimation and regulation of a social
life held in common. This definition is in accord with the view that political change is important
for responding to economic, ecological and cultural challenges. It also means that the politics of
economic change can be addressed. They have listed seven subdomains of the domain of politics:
[56]

1. Organization and governance


2. Law and justice
3. Communication and critique
4. Representation and negotiation
5. Security and accord
6. Dialogue and reconciliation
7. Ethics and accountability
This accords with the Brundtland Commission emphasis on development that is guided by
human rights principles (see above).

Culture
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article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged
and removed. (June 2014)

Framing of sustainable development progress according to the Circles of Sustainability, used by


the United Nations.
Working with a different emphasis, some researchers and institutions have pointed out that a
fourth dimension should be added to the dimensions of sustainable development, since the triplebottom-line dimensions of economic, environmental and social do not seem to be enough to
reflect the complexity of contemporary society. In this context, the Agenda 21 for culture and the
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Executive Bureau lead the preparation of the
policy statement Culture: Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development, passed on 17 November
2010, in the framework of the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders 3rd World
Congress of UCLG, held in Mexico City. although some which still argue that economics is
primary, and culture and politics should be included in 'the social'. This document inaugurates a

new perspective and points to the relation between culture and sustainable development through
a dual approach: developing a solid cultural policy and advocating a cultural dimension in all
public policies. The Circles of Sustainability approach distinguishes the four domains of
economic, ecological, political and cultural sustainability.[57][58]
Other organizations have also supported the idea of a fourth domain of sustainable development.
The Network of Excellence "Sustainable Development in a Diverse World",[59] sponsored by the
European Union, integrates multidisciplinary capacities and interprets cultural diversity as a key
element of a new strategy for sustainable development. The Fourth Pillar of Sustainable
Development Theory has been referenced by executive director of IMI Institute at UNESCO Vito
Di Bari[60] in his manifesto of art and architectural movement Neo-Futurism, whose name was
inspired by the 1987 United Nations report Our Common Future. The Circles of Sustainability
approach used by Metropolis defines the (fourth) cultural domain as practices, discourses, and
material expressions, which, over time, express continuities and discontinuities of social
meaning.[56]

Themes
This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the
claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research
should be removed. (April 2014)

Progress
See also: Sustainable development goals
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio
2012, Rio+20, or Earth Summit 2012, was the third international conference on sustainable
development, which aimed at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global
community. An outcome of this conference was the development of the Sustainable
Development Goals that aim to promote sustainable progress and eliminate inequalities around
the world. However, few nations met the World Wide Fund for Nature's definition of sustainable
development criteria established in 2006.[61] Although some nations are more developed than
others, all nations are constantly developing because each nation struggles with perpetuating
disparities, inequalities and unequal access to fundamental rights and freedoms. [62]

Measurement
Main articles: Ecological footprint and Sustainability measurement

Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest are a concern because of
increased human encroachment upon wilderness areas, increased resource extraction and further
threats to biodiversity.
In 2007 a report for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated: While much discussion
and effort has gone into sustainability indicators, none of the resulting systems clearly tells us
whether our society is sustainable. At best, they can tell us that we are heading in the wrong
direction, or that our current activities are not sustainable. More often, they simply draw our
attention to the existence of problems, doing little to tell us the origin of those problems and
nothing to tell us how to solve them.[63] Nevertheless, a majority of authors assume that a set of
well defined and harmonised indicators is the only way to make sustainability tangible. Those
indicators are expected to be identified and adjusted through empirical observations (trial and
error).[64]
The most common critiques are related to issues like data quality, comparability, objective
function and the necessary resources.[65] However a more general criticism is coming from the
project management community: How can a sustainable development be achieved at global level
if we cannot monitor it in any single project?[66][67]
The Cuban-born researcher and entrepreneur Sonia Bueno suggests an alternative approach that
is based upon the integral, long-term cost-benefit relationship as a measure and monitoring tool
for the sustainability of every project, activity or enterprise.[68][69] Furthermore, this concept aims
to be a practical guideline towards sustainable development following the principle of
conservation and increment of value rather than restricting the consumption of resources.[citation
needed]

Reasonable qualifications of sustainability are seen U.S. Green Building Councils (USGBC)
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This design incorporates some
ecological, economic, and social elements. The goals presented by LEED design goals are
sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmospheric emission reduction, material and
resources efficiency, and indoor environmental quality. Although amount of structures for
sustainability development is many, these qualification has become a standard for sustainable
building.[citation needed]

Natural capital

Deforestation of native rain forest in Rio de Janeiro City for extraction of clay for civil
engineering (2009 picture).
The sustainable development debate is based on the assumption that societies need to manage
three types of capital (economic, social, and natural), which may be non-substitutable and whose
consumption might be irreversible.[70] Daly (1991),[36] for example, points to the fact that natural
capital can not necessarily be substituted by economic capital. While it is possible that we can
find ways to replace some natural resources, it is much more unlikely that they will ever be able
to replace eco-system services, such as the protection provided by the ozone layer, or the climate
stabilizing function of the Amazonian forest. In fact natural capital, social capital and economic
capital are often complementarities. A further obstacle to substitutability lies also in the multifunctionality of many natural resources. Forests, for example, not only provide the raw material
for paper (which can be substituted quite easily), but they also maintain biodiversity, regulate
water flow, and absorb CO2.[citation needed]
Another problem of natural and social capital deterioration lies in their partial irreversibility. The
loss in biodiversity, for example, is often definite. The same can be true for cultural diversity. For
example, with globalisation advancing quickly the number of indigenous languages is dropping
at alarming rates. Moreover, the depletion of natural and social capital may have non-linear
consequences. Consumption of natural and social capital may have no observable impact until a
certain threshold is reached. A lake can, for example, absorb nutrients for a long time while
actually increasing its productivity. However, once a certain level of algae is reached lack of
oxygen causes the lakes ecosystem to break down suddenly.[citation needed]

Business-as-usual

Before flue-gas desulfurization was installed, the air-polluting emissions from this power plant in
New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide.
If the degradation of natural and social capital has such important consequence the question
arises why action is not taken more systematically to alleviate it. Cohen and Winn[71] point to four
types of market failure as possible explanations: First, while the benefits of natural or social
capital depletion can usually be privatized, the costs are often externalized (i.e. they are borne
not by the party responsible but by society in general). Second, natural capital is often
undervalued by society since we are not fully aware of the real cost of the depletion of natural
capital. Information asymmetry is a third reasonoften the link between cause and effect is
obscured, making it difficult for actors to make informed choices. Cohen and Winn close with
the realization that contrary to economic theory many firms are not perfect optimizers. They
postulate that firms often do not optimize resource allocation because they are caught in a
"business as usual" mentality.[citation needed]

Historical Development
Main articles: Sustainability and History of sustainability
Sustainable development has its roots in ideas about sustainable forest management which were
developed in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.[72][73] In response to a
growing awareness of the depletion of timber resources in England, John Evelyn argued that
"sowing and planting of trees had to be regarded as a national duty of every landowner, in order
to stop the destructive over-exploitation of natural resources" in his 1662 essay Sylva. In 1713
Hans Carl von Carlowitz, a senior mining administrator in the service of Elector Frederick
Augustus I of Saxony published Sylvicultura oeconomica, a 400-page work on forestry. Building
upon the ideas of Evelyn and French minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, von Carlowitz developed
the concept of managing forests for sustained yield.[72] His work influenced others, including
Alexander von Humboldt and Georg Ludwig Hartig, leading in turn to the development of a
science of forestry. This in term influenced people like Gifford Pinchot, first head of the US
Forest Service, whose approach to forest management was driven by the idea of wise use of
resources, and Aldo Leopold whose land ethic was influential in the development of the
environmental movement in the 1960s.[72][73]
Following the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962, the developing
environmental movement drew attention to the relationship between economic growth and
development and environmental degradation. Kenneth E. Boulding in his influential 1966 essay
The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth identified the need for the economic system to fit
itself to the ecological system with its limited pools of resources.[73] One of the first uses of the
term sustainable in the contemporary sense was by the Club of Rome in 1972 in its classic report
on the Limits to Growth, written by a group of scientists led by Dennis and Donella Meadows of
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Describing the desirable "state of global equilibrium",
the authors wrote: "We are searching for a model output that represents a world system that is
sustainable without sudden and uncontrolled collapse and capable of satisfying the basic material
requirements of all of its people."[4]

In 1980 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature published a world conservation
strategy that included one of the first references to sustainable development as a global priority.
[74]
Two years later, the United Nations World Charter for Nature raised five principles of
conservation by which human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged.[75] In 1987 the
United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development released the report Our
Common Future, commonly called the Brundtland Report. The report included what is now one
of the most widely recognized definitions of sustainable development.[76][77]
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two
key concepts:

The concept of 'needs', in particular, the essential needs of the world's poor, to
which overriding priority should be given; and

The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization
on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs.

World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (1987)


In 1992, the UN Conference on Environment and Development published in 1992 the Earth
Charter, which outlines the building of a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st
century. The action plan Agenda 21 for sustainable development identified information,
integration, and participation as key building blocks to help countries achieve development that
recognizes these interdependent pillars. It emphasises that in sustainable development everyone
is a user and provider of information. It stresses the need to change from old sector-centered
ways of doing business to new approaches that involve cross-sectoral co-ordination and the
integration of environmental and social concerns into all development processes. Furthermore,
Agenda 21 emphasises that broad public participation in decision making is a fundamental
prerequisite for achieving sustainable development.[78] Under the principles of the United Nations
Charter the Millennium Declaration identified principles and treaties on sustainable
development, including economic development, social development and environmental
protection. Broadly defined, sustainable development is a systems approach to growth and
development and to manage natural, produced, and social capital for the welfare of their own and
future generations. The term sustainable development as used by the United Nations incorporates
both issues associated with land development and broader issues of human development such as
education, public health, and standard of living.[citation needed]
A 2013 study concluded that sustainability reporting should be reframed through the lens of four
interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture.[79]

See also

Applied sustainability

Conservation biology

Conservation development

Ecological modernization

Ecologically sustainable development

Environmental issue

Environmental justice

Green development

Micro-sustainability

Outline of sustainability

Social sustainability

Sustainable coffee

Sustainable fishery

Sustainable forest management

Sustainable land management

Sustainable living

Sustainable yield

Sustainopreneurship

Weak and strong sustainability

Zero-carbon city

Sustainable development portal

Environment portal

Ecology portal

Earth sciences portal

Renewable energy portal

Energy portal

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1

Liam Magee, Andy Scerri, Paul James, James A. Thom, Lin Padgham, Sarah
Hickmott, Hepu Deng, Felicity Cahill (2013). "Reframing social sustainability reporting:
Towards an engaged approach". Environment, Development and Sustainability
(University of Melbourne). doi:10.1007/s10668-012-9384-2.

Literature cited

Blewitt, John (2015). Understanding Sustainable Development (Second ed.). Routledge.

Finn, Donovan (2009). Our Uncertain Future: Can Good Planning Create Sustainable
Communities?. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Further reading

Ahmed, Faiz (2008). An Examination of the Development Path Taken by Small Island
Developing States (PDF). (pp. 1726)

Atkinson, G., S. Dietz, and E. Neumayer (2009). Handbook of Sustainable Development.


Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN 1848444729.

Bakari, Mohamed El-Kamel. "Globalization and Sustainable Development: False


Twins?." New Global Studies 7.3: 23-56. ISSN (Online) 1940-0004, ISSN (Print) 21946566, DOI: 10.1515/ngs-2013-021, November 2013.

Bertelsmann Stiftung, ed. (2013). Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future. Reinhard
Mohn Prize 2013. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gtersloh. ISBN 978-3-86793-491-6.

Beyerlin, Ulrich. Sustainable Development, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public


International Law

Cook, Sarah and Esuna Dugarova (2014). "Rethinking Social Development for a Post2015 World". Development 57 (1): 3035. doi:10.1057/dev.2014.25.

Danilov-Danilyan, Victor I., Losev, K.S., Reyf, Igor E. Sustainable Development and the
Limitation of Growth: Future Prospects for World Civilization. Transl. Vladimir
Tumanov. Ed. Donald Rapp. New York: Springer Praxis Books, 2009. [1] at Google
Books

Edwards, A.R., and B. McKibben (2010). Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a


Resilient Society. New Society Publishers, ISBN 0865716412.

Li, Rita Yi Man. [2], Building Our Sustainable Cities" Illinois, Published by Common
Ground Publishing.

James, Paul; Nadarajah, Yaso; Haive, Karen; Stead, Victoria (2012). Sustainable
Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea. Honolulu:
University of Hawaii Press.

Mark Jarzombek, "Sustainability Architecture: between Fuzzy Systems and Wicked


Problems," Blueprints 21/1 (Winter 2003), pp. 69.

Huesemann, M.H., and J.A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Wont Save
Us or the Environment, Chapter 6, Sustainability or Collapse?, and Chapter 13, The
Design of Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Appropriate Technologies, New
Society Publishers, ISBN 0865717044.

Raudsepp-Hearne, C; Peterson, GD; Teng, M; Bennett, EM; Holland, T; Benessaiah,


K; MacDonald, GM; Pfeifer, L (2010). "Untangling the Environmentalist's Paradox:
Why is Human Well-Being Increasing as Ecosystem Services Degrade?". BioScience 60
(8): 576589. doi:10.1525/bio.2010.60.8.4.

Rogers, P., K.F. Jalal, and J.A. Boyd (2007). An Introduction to Sustainable
Development. Routledge, ISBN 1844075214.

Sianipar, C. P. M., Dowaki, K., Yudoko, G., & Adhiutama, A. (2013). Seven Pillars of
Survivability: Appropriate Technology with a Human Face. European Journal of
Sustainable Development, 2(4), 1-18. ISSN 2239-5938.

Van der Straaten, J., and J.C van den Bergh (1994). Towards Sustainable Development:
Concepts, Methods, and Policy. Island Press, ISBN 1559633492.

Wallace, Bill (2005). Becoming part of the solution : the engineers guide to sustainable
development. Washington, DC: American Council of Engineering Companies. ISBN 0910090-37-8.

External links

Global Sustainable Development, an undergraduate degree program offered by the


University of Warwick.

Circles of Sustainability

Principles of Sustainability, an open course offered by the University of Idaho and


Washington State University.

Sustainable Real Estate Research Center, Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, United Nations platform on sustainable


development.

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

UK Sustainable Development Commission

United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Vrinda Project Channel with videos on MDGs connected to the Wikibook


Development Cooperation Handbook

World Bank website on sustainable development.


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Environmental protection
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual,


organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of both the natural environment and
humans. Due to the pressures of population and technology, the biophysical environment is being
degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun
placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960s, activity of
environmental movements has created awareness of the various environmental issues. There is
no agreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity, and protection
measures are occasionally criticized.
Academic institutions now offer courses, such as environmental studies, environmental
management and environmental engineering, that teach the history and methods of environment
protection. Protection of the environment is needed due to various human activities. Waste
production, air pollution, and loss of biodiversity (resulting from the introduction of invasive
species and species extinction) are some of the issues related to environmental protection.
Environmental protection is influenced by three interwoven factors: environmental legislation,
ethics and education. Each of these factors plays its part in influencing national-level
environmental decisions and personal-level environmental values and behaviors. For
environmental protection to become a reality, it is important for societies to develop each of
these areas that, together, will inform and drive environmental decisions.[1]
Contents

1 Approaches to environmental protection


o

1.1 Voluntary environmental agreements

1.2 Ecosystems approach

1.3 International environmental agreements

2 Government
o

2.1 Tanzania

2.1.1 History of environmental protection

2.1.2 Government protection

2.2 China

2.3 European Union

2.4 Russia

2.5 Latin America

2.5.1 Brazil

2.5.2 Mexico

2.6 Oceania

2.6.1 Australia

2.6.2 New Zealand

2.7 United States

3 In literature

4 See also

5 References

Approaches to environmental protection


Voluntary environmental agreements

In industrial countries, voluntary environmental agreements often provide a platform for


companies to be recognized for moving beyond the minimum regulatory standards and thus
support the development of best environmental practice.[2] In developing countries, such as
throughout Latin America, these agreements are more commonly used to remedy significant
levels of non-compliance with mandatory regulation.[3] The challenges that exist with these
agreements lie in establishing baseline data, targets, monitoring and reporting. Due to the
difficulties inherent in evaluating effectiveness, their use is often questioned and, indeed, the
whole environment may well be adversely affected as a result. The key advantage of their use in
developing countries is that their use helps to build environmental management capacity.[3]
Ecosystems approach

An ecosystems approach to resource management and environmental protection aims to consider


the complex interrelationships of an entire ecosystem in decision making rather than simply
responding to specific issues and challenges. Ideally the decision-making processes under such
an approach would be a collaborative approach to planning and decision making that involves a
broad range of stakeholders across all relevant governmental departments, as well as
representatives of industry, environmental groups and community. This approach ideally
supports a better exchange of information, development of conflict-resolution strategies and
improved regional conservation.[4]
International environmental agreements

Kyoto Protocol Commitment map 2010

Many of the earths resources are especially vulnerable because they are influenced by human
impacts across many countries. As a result of this, many attempts are made by countries to
develop agreements that are signed by multiple governments to prevent damage or manage the
impacts of human activity on natural resources. This can include agreements that impact factors
such as climate, oceans, rivers and air pollution. These international environmental agreements
are sometimes legally binding documents that have legal implications when they are not
followed and, at other times, are more agreements in principle or are for use as codes of conduct.
These agreements have a long history with some multinational agreements being in place from as
early as 1910 in Europe, America and Africa.[5] Some of the most well-known multinational
agreements include: the Kyoto Protocol, Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone
Layer and Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
Government

Discussion concerning environmental protection often focuses on the role of government,


legislation, and law enforcement. However, in its broadest sense, environmental protection may
be seen to be the responsibility of all the people and not simply that of government. Decisions
that impact the environment will ideally involve a broad range of stakeholders including
industry, indigenous groups, environmental group and community representatives. Gradually,
environmental decision-making processes are evolving to reflect this broad base of stakeholders
and are becoming more collaborative in many countries.[6]
Many constitutions acknowledge the fundamental right to environmental protection and many
international treaties acknowledge the right to live in a healthy environment.[7] Also, many

countries have organizations and agencies devoted to environmental protection. There are
international environmental protection organizations, such as the United Nations Environment
Programme.
Although environmental protection is not simply the responsibility of government agencies, most
people view these agencies as being of prime importance in establishing and maintaining basic
standards that protect both the environment and the people interacting with it.
Tanzania

Zebras, Serengeti savana plains, Tanzania

Tanzania is recognised as having s[8] The concerns for the natural environment include damage to
ecosystems and loss of habitat resulting from population growth, expansion of subsistence
agriculture, pollution, timber extraction and significant use of timber as fuel.[9]
History of environmental protection

Environmental protection in Tanzania began during the German occupation of East Africa (18841919) colonial conservation laws for the protection of game and forests were enacted,
whereby restrictions were placed upon traditional indigenous activities such as hunting, firewood
collecting and cattle grazing.[10] In year 1948, Serengeti was officially established as the first
national park for wild cats in East Africa. Since 1983, there has been a more broad-reaching
effort to manage environmental issues at a national level, through the establishment of the
National Environment Management Council (NEMC) and the development of an environmental
act.[11]
Government protection

Division of the biosphere is the main government body that oversees protection. It does this
through the formulation of policy, coordinating and monitoring environmental issues,
environmental planning and policy-oriented environmental research.The National Environment
Management Council (NEMC) is an institution that was initiated when the National Environment
Management Act was first introduced in year 1983. This council has the role to advise
governments and the international community on a range of environmental issues. The NEMC
has the following purposes: provide technical advice; coordinate technical activities; develop

enforcement guidelines and procedures; assess, monitor and evaluate activities that impact the
environment; promote and assist environmental information and communication; and seek
advancement of scientific knowledge.[12]
The National Environment Policy of 1997 acts as a framework for environmental decision
making in Tanzania. The policy objectives are to achieve the following:

Ensure sustainable and equitable use of resources without degrading the


environment or risking health or safety

Prevent and control degradation of land, water, vegetation and air

Conserve and enhance natural and man-made heritage, including biological


diversity of unique ecosystems

Improve condition and productivity of degraded areas

Raise awareness and understanding of the link between environment and


development

Promote individual and community participation

Promote international cooperation

[12]

Tanzania is a signatory to a significant number of international conventions including the Rio


Declaration on Development and Environment 1992 and the Convention on Biological Diversity
1996. The Environmental Management Act, 2004, is the first comprehensive legal and
institutional framework to guide environmental-management decisions. The policy tools that are
parts of the act includes the use of: environmental-impact assessments, strategics environmentals
assessments and taxation on pollution for specific industries and products. The effectiveness of
shifing of this act will only become clear over time as concerns regarding its implementation
become apparent based on the fact that, historically, there has been a lack of capacity to enforce
environmental laws and a lack of working tools to bring environmental-protection objectives into
practice.
China

The Longwanqun National Forest Park is a nationally protected nature area in


Huinan County, Jilin, China

Formal environmental protection in China House was first stimulated by the 1972 United
Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden. Following this,
they began establishing environmental protection agencies and putting controls on some of its
industrial waste. China was one of the first developing countries to implement a sustainable
development strategy. In 1983 the State Council announced that environmental protection would
be one of Chinas basic national policies and in 1984 the National Environmental Protection
Agency (NEPA) was established. Following severe flooding of the Yangtze River basin in 1998,
NEPA was upgraded to the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) meaning that
environmental protection was now being implemented at a ministerial level. In 2008, SEPA
became known by its current name of Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's
Republic of China (MEP).[13]
Pollution control instruments in China[14]
Command-andcontrol

Economic
incentives

Voluntary
instruments

Concentration-based
pollution discharge
controls

Pollution levy fee

Environmental
labeling system

Public
participation
Clean-up
campaign

Mass-based controls on
Environmental
total provincial
Non-compliance fines ISO 14000 system awareness
discharge
campaign
Environmental impact
assessments (EIA)

Discharge permit
system

Cleaner
production

Air pollution index

Three synchronization
program

Sulfur emission fee

NGOs

Water quality
disclosure

Administrative
permission
hearing

Deadline transmission
trading
Centralized pollution
control

Subsidies for energy


saving products

Two compliance policy

Regulation on refuse
credit to highpolluting firms

Environmental
compensation fee

Environmental pollution and ecological degradation has resulted in economic losses for China.
In 2005, economic losses (mainly from air pollution) were calculated at 7.7% of Chinas GDP.
This grew to 10.3% by 2002 and the economic loss from water pollution (6.1%) began to exceed
that caused by air pollution.[14] China has been one of the top performing countries in terms of
GDP growth (9.64% in the past ten years).[14] However, the high economic growth has put
immense pressure on its environment and the environmental challenges that China faces are
greater than most countries. In 2010 China was ranked 121st out of 163 countries on the
Environmental Performance Index.
China has taken initiatives to increase its protection of the environment and combat
environmental degradation:

Chinas investment in renewable energy grew 18% in 2007 to $15.6 billion,


accounting for ~10% of the global investment in this area;). [15]

In 2008, spending on the environment was 1.49% of GDP, up 3.4 times from
2000;[15]

The discharge of COD (carbon monoxide) and SO2 (sulfur dioxide) decreased
by 6.61% and 8.95% in 2008 compared with that in 2005; [15]

Chinas protected nature reserves have increased substantially. In 1978 there


were only 34 compared with 2,538 in 2010. The protected nature reserve
system now occupies 15.5% of the country; this is higher than the world
average.[15]

Rapid growth in GDP has been Chinas main goal during the past three decades with a dominant
development model of inefficient resource use and high pollution to achieve high GDP. For
China to develop sustainably, environmental protection should be treated as an integral part of its
economic policies.[16]
Quote from Shengxian Zhou, head of MEP (2009): Good economic policy is good
environmental policy and the nature of environmental problem is the economic structure,
production form and develop model. [15]
European Union

Environmental protection has become an important task for the institutions of the European
Community after the Maastricht Treaty for the European Union ratification by all the Member
States. The EU is already very active in the field of environmental policy with important

directives like those on environmental impact assessment and on the access to environmental
information for citizens in the Member States.
Russia

In Russia environmental protection is considered an integral part of national safety. There is an


authorized state body - the Federal Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology. However, there
are a lot of environmental problems.
Latin America

Top 5 Countries by biological diversity

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has identified 17 megadiverse countries.
The list includes six Latin American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and
Venezuela. Mexico and Brazil stand out among the rest because they have the largest area,
population and number of species. These countries represent a major concern for environmental
protection because they have high rates of deforestation, ecosystems loss, pollution, and
population growth.
Brazil

Panorama of the Iguazu falls in Brazil

Brazil has the largest amount of the world's tropical forests, 4,105,401 km2 (48.1% of Brazil),
concentrated in the Amazon region.[17] Brazil is home to vast biological diversity, first among the
megadiverse countries of the world, having between 15%-20% of the 1.5 million globally
described species.[18]
The organization in charge of environment protection is the Brazilian Ministry of the
Environment (in Portuguese: Ministrio do Meio Ambiente, MMA).[19] It was first created in year
1973 with the name Special Secretariat for the Environment (Secretaria Especial de Meio
Ambiente), changing names several times, and adopting the final name in year 1999. The
Ministry is responsible for addressing the following issues:

A national policy for the environment and for water resources;

A policy for the preservation, conservation and sustainable use of


ecosystems, biodiversity and forests;

Proposing strategies, mechanisms, economic and social instruments for


improving environmental quality, and sustainable use of natural resources;

Policies for integrating production and the environment;

Environmental policies and programs for the Legal Amazon;

Ecological and economic territorial zoning.

In 2011, protected areas of the Amazon covered 2,197,485 km2 (an area larger than Greenland),
with conservation units, like national parks, accounting for just over half (50.6%), and
indigenous territories representing the remaining 49.4%.[20]
Mexico

With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home to 1012% of the world's biodiversity,
ranking first in reptile biodiversity and second in mammals[21]one estimate indicates that over
50% of all animal and plant species live in Mexico.[22]
The history of environmental policy in Mexico started in the 1940s with the enactment of the
Law of Conservation of Soil and Water (in Spanish: Ley de Conservacin de Suelo y Agua).
Three decades later, at the beginning of the 1970s, the Law to Prevent and Control
Environmental Pollution was created (Ley para Prevenir y Controlar la Contaminacin
Ambiental).
In year 1972 was the first direct response from the federal government to address eminent health
effects from environmental issues. It established the administrative organization of the
Secretariat for the Improvement of the Environment (Subsecretara para el Mejoramiento del
Ambiente) in the Department of Health and Welfare.

The axolotl is an endemic species from the central part of Mexico

The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretara del Medio Ambiente y
Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT[23]) is Mexico's environment ministry. The Ministry is
responsible for addressing the following issues:

Promote the protection, restoration and conservation of ecosystems, natural


resources, goods and environmental services, and to facilitate their use and
sustainable development.

Develop and implement a national policy on natural resources

Promote environmental management within the national territory, in


coordination with all levels of government and the private sector.

Evaluate and provide determination to the environmental impact statements


for development projects and prevention of ecological damage

Implement national policies on climate change and protection of the ozone


layer.

Direct work and studies on national meteorological, climatological,


hydrological, and geohydrological systems, and participate in international
conventions on these subjects.

Regulate and monitor the conservation of waterways

In November 2000 there were 127 protected areas; currently there are 174, covering an area of
25,384,818 hectares, increasing federally protected areas from 8.6% to 12.85% its land area.[24]
Oceania
Australia

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest barrier reef in the world

In 2008, there was 98,487,116 ha of terrestrial protected area, covering 12.8% of the land area of
Australia.[25] The 2002 figures of 10.1% of terrestrial area and 64,615,554 ha of protected marine
area[26] were found to poorly represent about half of Australias 85 bioregions.[27]
Environmental protection in Australia could be seen as starting with the formation of the first
National Park, Royal National Park, in 1879.[28] More progressive environmental protection had
it start in the 1960s and 1970s with major international programs such as the United Nations
Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, the Environment Committee of the OECD in
1970, and the United Nations Environment Programme of 1972.[29] These events laid the
foundations by increasing public awareness and support for regulation. State environmental
legislation was irregular and deficient until the Australian Environment Council (AEC) and
Council of Nature Conservation Ministers (CONCOM) were established in 1972 and 1974,
creating a forum to assist in coordinating environmental and conservation policies between states
and neighbouring countries.[30] These councils have since been replaced by the Australian and
New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) in 1991 and finally the
Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) in 2001.[31]

At a national level, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 is the
primary environmental protection legislation for the Commonwealth of Australia. It concerns
matters of national and international environmental significance regarding flora, fauna,
ecological communities and cultural heritage.[32] It also has jurisdiction over any activity
conducted by the Commonwealth, or affecting it, that has significant environmental impact.[33]
The act covers eight main areas:[34]

National Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites

RAMSAR wetlands

Nationally endangered or threatened species and ecological communities

Nuclear activities and actions

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Migratory species

Commonwealth Marine areas

There are several Commonwealth protected lands due to partnerships with traditional native
owners, such as Kakadu National Park, extraordinary biodiversity such as Christmas Island
National Park, or managed cooperatively due to cross-state location, such as the Australian Alps
National parks.[35]
At a state level, the bulk of environmental protection issues are left to the responsibility of the
state or territory.[30][33] Each state in Australia has its own environmental protection legislation and
corresponding agencies. Their jurisdiction is similar and covers point-source pollution, such as
from industry or commercial activities, land/water use, and waste management. Most protected
lands are managed by states and territories[35] with state legislative acts creating different degrees
and definitions of protected areas such as wilderness, national land and marine parks, state
forests, and conservation areas. States also create regulation to limit and provide general
protection from air, water, and sound pollution.
At a local level, each city or regional council has responsibility over issues not covered by state
or national legislation. This includes non-point source, or diffuse pollution, such as sediment
pollution from construction sites.
Australia ranks second place on the UN 2010 Human Development Index[36] and one of the
lowest debt to GDP ratios of the developed economies.[37] This could be seen as coming at the

cost of the environment, with Australia being the world leader in coal exportation[38] and species
extinctions.[39][40] Some have been motivated to proclaim it is Australias responsibility to set the
example of environmental reform for the rest of the world to follow.[41][42]
New Zealand

At a national level, the Ministry for the Environment is responsible for environmental policy and
the Department of Conservation addresses conservation issues. At a regional level the regional
councils administer the legislation and address regional environmental issues.
United States

Yosemite National Park in California. One of the first protected areas in the United
States

Since 1969, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to
protect the environment and human health.[43] All U.S. states have their own state departments of
environmental protection.[44]
The EPA has drafted "Seven Priorities for EPAs Future", which are:[45]

"Taking Action on Climate Change"

"Improving Air Quality"

"Assuring the Safety of Chemicals"

"Cleaning Up Our Communities"

"Protecting Americas Waters"

"Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for


Environmental Justice"

"Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships"[45]

In literature

There are many works of literature that contain the themes of environmental protection but some
have been fundamental to its evolution. Several pieces such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo
Leopold, Tragedy of the commons by Garrett Hardin, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson have
become classics due to their far reaching influences. Environmental protection is present in
fiction as well as non-fictional literature. Books such as Antarctica and Blockade have
environmental protection as subjects whereas The Lorax has become a popular metaphor for
environmental protection. "The Limits of Trooghaft"[46] by Desmond Stewart is a short story that
provides insight into human attitudes towards animals. Another book called "The Martian
Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury investigates issues such as bombs, wars, government control, and
what effects these can have on the environment.
See also
Sustainable development portal
Environment portal
Ecology portal
Earth sciences portal

Biodiversity

Carbon offset

Conservation biology

Conservation movement

Ecology movement

Environmentalism

Environmental governance

Environmental law

Environmental movement

Environmental organizations

Green party

Green politics

Green solutions

List of environmental organizations

List of environmental issues

List of environmental topics

List of international environmental agreements

Natural capital

Natural resource management

Participation (decision making)

Public information and participation

Renewable resource

Sustainability

Sustainable development

References
1.
Solomon, U., A detailed look at the three disciplines, environmental ethics, law
and education to determine which plays the most critical role in environmental
enhancement and protection. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 2010.
12(6): p. 1069-1080.
Karamanos, P., Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Evolution and Definition
of a New Environmental Policy Approach. Journal of Environmental Planning and
Management, 2001. 44(1): p. 67-67-84.
Blackman, A., Can Voluntary Environmental Regulation Work in Developing
Countries? Lessons from Case Studies. Policy Studies Journal, 2008. 36(1): p. 119141.
The California Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA) (August 2001). "An ecosystem
approach to natural resource conservation in California". CIPA Publication No. 106.
InterEnvironment Institute. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Mitchell, R.B., International Environmental Agreements: A Survey of Their
Features, Formation, and Effects. Annual Review of Environment and Resources,
2003. 28(1543-5938, 1543-5938): p. 429-429-461.

Harding, R., Ecologically sustainable development: origins, implementation


and challenges. Desalination, 2006. 187(1-3): p. 229-239
Jonathan Verschuuren (1993). "Environmental Law, Articles".
http://arno.uvt.nl/. http://arno.uvt.nl/. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Earth Trends (2003). "Biodiversity and Protected Areas-- Tanzania" (PDF).
Earth Trends Country Profiles. Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Jessica Andersson; Daniel Slunge (16 June 2005). "Tanzania Environmental
Policy Brief" (PDF). Tanzania Environmental Policy Brief. Development Partners
Group Tanzania. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Goldstein, G., Legal System and Wildlife Conservation: History and the Law's
Effect on Indigenous People and Community Conservation in Tanzania, The.
Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 2005. Georgetown University
Law Center (Spring).
Pallangyo, D.M. (2007). "Environmental Law in Tanzania; How Far Have We
Gone?".LEAD: Law, Environment & Development Journal 3 (1).
Tanzania Government. "Environment Tanzania". Tanzania Government.
Retrieved 20/9/2011.
Zhang, Kunmin; Wen, Peng (2008). "Review on environmental policies in
China: Evolvement, features, and evaluation". Environ. Sci. Engin. China 2 (2): 129
141. doi:10.1007/s11783-008-0044-6.
Zhang, Kun-min; Wen, Zong-guo. (2008). "Review and challenges of policies
of environmental protection and sustainable development in China". Journal of
Environmental Management 88: 12491261. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.06.019.
Chunmei, Wang; Zhaolan, Lin. (2010). "Environmental Policies in China over
the past 10 Years: Progress, Problems and Prospects". International Society for
Environmental Information Sciences 2010 Annual Conference (ISEIS) 2: 17011712.
doi:10.1016/j.proenv.2010.10.181.
Liu, Jianguo; Diamond, Jared. (2008). "Revolutionizing China's Environmental
Protection". Science 319. doi:10.1126/science.1150416.
Ministrio do Meio Ambiente (MMA) Secretaria de Biodiversidade e Florestas
(2002), Biodiversidade Brasileira,
http://www.biodiversidade.rs.gov.br/arquivos/BiodiversidadeBrasileira_MMA.pdf,
retrieved September 2011
Lewinsohn, T. M.; Prado, P. I. (2004) Biodiversidade Brasileira: Sntese do
Estado Atual do Conhecimento, Contexto Academico

Ministrio do Meio Ambiente (2012). "Ministrio do Meio Ambiente".


Ministrio do Meio Ambiente (in Portuguese). Ministrio do Meio Ambiente.
Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Verssimo, A., Rolla, A., Vedoveto, M. & de Furtada, S.M. (2011) reas
Protegidas na Amaznia Brasileira: avanos e desafios ,Imazon/ISA
Mittermeier, R. y C. Goettsch (1992) La importancia de la diversidad
biolgica de Mxico, Conabio , Mxico
Viva Natura. "Principal ecosystems in Mexico". Viva Natura. Viva Natura.
Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Official site: http://www.semarnat.gob.mx/
Official site: http://www.conanp.gob.mx/
"Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database 2008". Department of
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 21
September 2011.
"Collaborative Aus tralian Protected Areas Database 2002". Department of
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 21
September 2011.
Paul Sattler and Colin Creighton. "Australian Terrestrial Biodiversity
Assessment 2002". National Land and Water Resources Audit. Department of
Sustainabililty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 21
September 2011.
"Royal National Park". NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 21
September 2011.
Australian achievements in environment protection and nature conservation
1972-1982. Canberra: Australian Environment Council and Council of Nature
Conservation Ministers. 1982. pp. 12. ISBN 0-642-88655-5.
"Background to the Councils". Australian Government Primary Industries
Ministerial Council and Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council. Retrieved
21 September 2011.
"ANZECC". Environment Protection and Heritage Council. Retrieved 21
September 2011.
"Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act". Department of
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 21
September 2011.

"About the EPBC Act". Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water,


Population and Communities. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
"Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
fact sheet". Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and
Communities. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
"Protected areas". Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 21 September
2011.
Human Development Index (HDI) - 2010 Rankings "Human Development
Index (HDI) - 2010 Rankings" Check |url= scheme (help) (PDF). Human
Development Report Office; United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 24
September 2011.
"Overview of the Australian Government's Balance Sheet". Budget Strategy
and Outlook 2011-12. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
"The Australian Coal Industry - Coal Exports". Australian Coal Association.
Retrieved 25 September 2011.
Jeff Short and Andrew Smith (1994). "Mammal Decline and Recovery in
Australia". Journal of Mammalogy 75 (2): 288297. doi:10.2307/1382547.
Johnson, Chris (2006). Australia's Mammal Extinctions. Melbourne: Cambridge
University Press. pp. vii. ISBN 0-521-84918-7.
Murphy, Cameron. "Australia as International Citizen - From past failure to
future Distinction". 22nd Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture. The Lionel Murphy
Foundation. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
"Climate Change and Energy". The Australian Greens. Retrieved 26
September 2011.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved on (August 23,
2008). "About Us (section)". U.S. EPA.
"State Environmental Agencies". United States Environmental Protection
Agency. Accessed May 2010.
"Seven Priorities for EPA's Future". United States Environmental Protection
Agency. Accessed May 2010.
1

Stewart, Desmond (February 1972). "The Limits of Trooghaft". Encounter


(London) 38 (2): 37. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
[show]

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Environmental law
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Part of a series on
Law and the Environment

Environmental Law
Pollution control law

Environmental impact assessment

Air quality law


Water quality law

Waste management law

Environmental cleanup law

Natural resources law

Species protection
Water resources law

Mining law

Forestry law

Fisheries law

Game law

Reference materials

Environmental journals

International environmental agreements

Environmental laws by country

Environmental lawsuits
Environmental ministries

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Related topics

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Wild law

Land law

Environmental law - or "environmental and natural resources law" - is a collective term


describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, and common and customary laws
addressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.
Contents

1 Regulatory subjects

2 Important principles

3 History

4 Controversy

5 Around the world

6 See also

7 References

8 Further reading

9 External links

Regulatory subjects

The broad category of "environmental law" may be broken down into a number of more specific
regulatory subjects. While there is no single agreed-upon taxonomy, the core environmental law
regimes address environmental pollution. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now
strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific
natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries. Other areas, such as environmental
impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important
components of environmental law.
Impact assessment
Main article: Environmental impact assessment

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the formal process used to predict the environmental
consequences (positive or negative) of a plan, policy, program, or project prior to the decision to
move forward with the proposed action. Formal impact assessments may be governed by rules of
administrative procedure regarding public participation and documentation of decision making,
and may be subject to judicial review. An impact assessment may propose measures to adjust
impacts to acceptable levels or to investigate new technological solutions.
Air quality

Industrial air pollution now regulated by air quality law.


Main article: Air quality law

Air quality laws govern the emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere. A specialized subset
of air quality laws regulate the quality of air inside buildings. Air quality laws are often designed
specifically to protect human health by limiting or eliminating airborne pollutant concentrations.
Other initiatives are designed to address broader ecological problems, such as limitations on
chemicals that affect the ozone layer, and emissions trading programs to address acid rain or
climate change. Regulatory efforts include identifying and categorizing air pollutants, setting
limits on acceptable emissions levels, and dictating necessary or appropriate mitigation
technologies.
Water quality

A typical stormwater outfall, subject to water quality law.


Main article: Water quality law

Water quality laws govern the release of pollutants into water resources, including surface water,
ground water, and stored drinking water. Some water quality laws, such as drinking water
regulations, may be designed solely with reference to human health. Many others, including
restrictions on the alteration of the chemical, physical, radiological, and biological characteristics
of water resources, may also reflect efforts to protect aquatic ecosystems more broadly.
Regulatory efforts may include identifying and categorizing water pollutants, dictating
acceptable pollutant concentrations in water resources, and limiting pollutant discharges from

effluent sources. Regulatory areas include sewage treatment and disposal, industrial and
agricultural waste water management, and control of surface runoff from construction sites and
urban environments.
Waste management

A municipal landfill, operated pursuant to waste management law.


Main article: Waste management law

Waste management laws govern the transport, treatment, storage, and disposal of all manner of
waste, including municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, and nuclear waste, among many other
types. Waste laws are generally designed to minimize or eliminate the uncontrolled dispersal of
waste materials into the environment in a manner that may cause ecological or biological harm,
and include laws designed to reduce the generation of waste and promote or mandate waste
recycling. Regulatory efforts include identifying and categorizing waste types and mandating
transport, treatment, storage, and disposal practices.
Contaminant cleanup

Oil spill emergency response, governed by environmental cleanup law.


Main article: Environmental cleanup law

Environmental cleanup laws govern the removal of pollution or contaminants from


environmental media such as soil, sediment, surface water, or ground water. Unlike pollution
control laws, cleanup laws are designed to respond after-the-fact to environmental

contamination, and consequently must often define not only the necessary response actions, but
also the parties who may be responsible for undertaking (or paying for) such actions. Regulatory
requirements may include rules for emergency response, liability allocation, site assessment,
remedial investigation, feasibility studies, remedial action, post-remedial monitoring, and site
reuse.
Chemical safety

Chemical safety laws govern the use of chemicals in human activities, particularly man-made
chemicals in modern industrial applications. As contrasted with media-oriented environmental
laws (e.g., air or water quality laws), chemical control laws seek to manage the (potential)
pollutants themselves. Regulatory efforts include banning specific chemical constituents in
consumer products (e.g., Bisphenol A in plastic bottles), and regulating pesticides.
Water resources

An irrigation ditch, operated in accordance with water resources law.


Main article: Water law

Water resources laws govern the ownership and use of water resources, including surface water
and ground water. Regulatory areas may include water conservation, use restrictions, and
ownership regimes.
Mineral resources
Main article: Mining law

Mineral resource laws cover several basic topics, including the ownership of the mineral
resource and who can work them. Mining is also affected by various regulations regarding the
health and safety of miners, as well as the environmental impact of mining.
Forest resources

A timber operation, regulated by forestry law.


Main article: Forestry law

Forestry laws govern activities in designated forest lands, most commonly with respect to forest
management and timber harvesting. Ancillary laws may regulate forest land acquisition and
prescribed burn practices. Forest management laws generally adopt management policies, such
as multiple use and sustained yield, by which public forest resources are to be managed.
Governmental agencies are generally responsible for planning and implementing forestry laws
on public forest lands, and may be involved in forest inventory, planning, and conservation, and
oversight of timber sales. Broader initiatives may seek to slow or reverse deforestation.
Wildlife and plants

Wildlife laws govern the potential impact of human activity on wild animals, whether directly on
individuals or populations, or indirectly via habitat degradation. Similar laws may operate to
protect plant species. Such laws may be enacted entirely to protect biodiversity, or as a means for
protecting species deemed important for other reasons. Regulatory efforts may including the
creation of special conservation statuses, prohibitions on killing, harming, or disturbing protected
species, efforts to induce and support species recovery, establishment of wildlife refuges to
support conservation, and prohibitions on trafficking in species or animal parts to combat
poaching.
Fish and game
Main article: Game law
Further information: Fisheries law

Fish and game laws regulate the right to pursue and take or kill certain kinds of fish and wild
animal (game). Such laws may restrict the days to harvest fish or game, the number of animals
caught per person, the species harvested, or the weapons or fishing gear used. Such laws may
seek to balance dueling needs for preservation and harvest and to manage both environment and
populations of fish and game. Game laws can provide a legal structure to collect license fees and
other money which is used to fund conservation efforts as well as to obtain harvest information
used in wildlife management practice.

Important principles

Environmental law has developed in response to emerging awareness of and concern over issues
impacting the entire world. While laws have developed piecemeal and for a variety of reasons,
some effort has gone into identifying key concepts and guiding principles common to
environmental law as a whole.[1] The principles discussed below are not an exhaustive list and are
not universally recognized or accepted. Nonetheless, they represent important principles for the
understanding of environmental law around the world.
Sustainable Development
Main article: Sustainable development

Defined by the United Nations Environment Programme as "development that meets the needs of
the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,"
sustainable development may be considered together with the concepts of "integration"
(development cannot be considered in isolation from sustainability) and "interdependence"
(social and economic development, and environmental protection, are interdependent).[2] Laws
mandating environmental impact assessment and requiring or encouraging development to
minimize environmental impacts may be assessed against this principle.
The modern concept of sustainable development was a topic of discussion at the 1972 United
Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference), and the driving force
behind the 1983 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED, or Bruntland
Commission). In 1992, the first UN Earth Summit resulted in the Rio Declaration, Principle 3 of
which reads: "The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental
and environmental needs of present and future generations." Sustainable development has been a
core concept of international environmental discussion ever since, including at the World
Summit on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2002), and the United Nations Conference
on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2012, or Rio+20).
Equity
Further information: Intergenerational equity

Defined by UNEP to include intergenerational equity - "the right of future generations to enjoy a
fair level of the common patrimony" - and intragenerational equity - "the right of all people
within the current generation to fair access to the current generation's entitlement to the Earth's
natural resources" - environmental equity considers the present generation under an obligation to
account for long-term impacts of activities, and to act to sustain the global environment and
resource base for future generations.[3] Pollution control and resource management laws may be
assessed against this principle.

Transboundary responsibility

Defined in the international law context as an obligation to protect one's own environment, and
to prevent damage to neighboring environments, UNEP considers transboundary responsibility at
the international level as a potential limitation on the rights of the sovereign state.[4] Laws that act
to limit externalities imposed upon human health and the environment may be assessed against
this principle.
Public participation and transparency

Identified as essential conditions for "accountable governments . . ., industrial concerns," and


organizations generally, public participation and transparency are presented by UNEP as
requiring "effective protection of the human right to hold and express opinions and to seek,
receive and impart ideas," "a right of access to appropriate, comprehensible and timely
information held by governments and industrial concerns on economic and social policies
regarding the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment, without
imposing undue financial burdens upon the applicants and with adequate protection of privacy
and business confidentiality," and "effective judicial and administrative proceedings." These
principles are present in environmental impact assessment, laws requiring publication and access
to relevant environmental data, and administrative procedure.
Precautionary principle
Main article: Precautionary principle

One of the most commonly encountered and controversial principles of environmental law, the
Rio Declaration formulated the precautionary principle as follows:
In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be
widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are
threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall
not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent
environmental degradation.

The principle may play a role in any debate over the need for environmental regulate.
Prevention
The concept of prevention . . . can perhaps better be considered an
overarching aim that gives rise to a multitude of legal mechanisms, including
prior assessment of environmental harm, licensing or authorization that set
out the conditions for operation and the consequences for violation of the
conditions, as well as the adoption of strategies and policies. Emission limits
and other product or process standards, the use of best available techniques

and similar techniques can all be seen as applications of the concept of


prevention.[5]
Polluter pays principle
Main article: Polluter pays principle

The polluter pays principle stands for the idea that "the environmental costs of economic
activities, including the cost of preventing potential harm, should be internalized rather than
imposed upon society at large."[6] All issues related to responsibility for cost for environmental
remediation and compliance with pollution control regulations involve this principle.
History

Early examples of legal enactments designed to consciously preserve the environment, for its
own sake or human enjoyment, are found throughout history. In the common law, the primary
protection was found in the law of nuisance, but this only allowed for private actions for
damages or injunctions if there was harm to land. Thus smells emanating from pig stys,[7] strict
liability against dumping rubbish,[8] or damage from exploding dams.[9] Private enforcement,
however, was limited and found to be woefully inadequate to deal with major environmental
threats, particularly threats to common resources. During the "Great Stink" of 1858, the dumping
of sewerage into the River Thames began to smell so ghastly in the summer heat that Parliament
had to be evacuated. Ironically, the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers Act 1848 had allowed
the Metropolitan Commission for Sewers to close cesspits around the city in an attempt to "clean
up" but this simply led people to pollute the river. In 19 days, Parliament passed a further Act to
build the London sewerage system. London also suffered from terrible air pollution, and this
culminated in the "Great Smog" of 1952, which in turn triggered its on legislative response: the
Clean Air Act 1956. The basic regulatory structure was to set limits on emissions for households
and business (particularly burning coal) while an inspectorate would enforce compliance.
Notwithstanding early analogues, the concept of "environmental law" as a separate and distinct
body of law is a twentieth-century development.[10] The recognition that the natural environment
was fragile and in need of special legal protections, the translation of that recognition into legal
structures, the development of those structures into a larger body of "environmental law," and the
strong influence of environmental law on natural resource laws, did not occur until about the
1960s. At that time, numerous influences - including a growing awareness of the unity and
fragility of the biosphere; increased public concern over the impact of industrial activity on
natural resources and human health; the increasing strength of the regulatory state; and more
broadly the advent and success of environmentalism as a political movement - coalesced to
produce a huge new body of law in a relatively short period of time. While the modern history of
environmental law is one of continuing controversy, by the end of the twentieth century
environmental law had been established as a component of the legal landscape in all developed
nations of the world, many developing ones, and the larger project of international law.

Controversy

Environmental law is a continuing source of controversy. Debates over the necessity, fairness,
and cost of environmental regulation are ongoing. Allegations of scientific uncertainty fuel the
ongoing debate over greenhouse gas regulation and are a major factor in the debate over whether
to ban pesticides.[11] It is very common for regulated industry to argue against environmental
regulation on the basis of cost.[12] Difficulties arise, however, in performing cost-benefit analysis
of environmental issues. It is difficult to quantify the value of an environmental value such as a
healthy ecosystem, clean air, or species diversity. Furthermore, environmental issues may gain an
ethical or moral dimension that would discount financial cost. Controversy is not limited to those
who oppose environmental regulation: many groups take the position that current regulations are
inadequately protective, and advocate for strengthening regulations.
Around the world
See also: List of environmental laws by country and List of international
environmental agreements
International law
Further information: Environmental protocol

Global and regional environmental issues are increasingly the subject of international law.
Debates over environmental concerns implicate core principles of international law and have
been the subject of numerous international agreements and declarations.
Customary international law is an important source of international environmental law. These are
the norms and rules that countries follow as a matter of custom and they are so prevalent that
they bind all states in the world. When a principle becomes customary law is not clear cut and
many arguments are put forward by states not wishing to be bound. Examples of customary
international law relevant to the environment include the duty to warn other states promptly
about icons of an environmental nature and environmental damages to which another state or
states may be exposed, and Principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration ('good neighbourliness' or
sic utere).
Numerous legally binding international agreements encompass a wide variety of issue-areas,
from terrestrial, marine and atmospheric pollution through to wildlife and biodiversity
protection. International environmental agreements are generally multilateral (or sometimes
bilateral) treaties (a.k.a. convention, agreement, protocol, etc.). Protocols are subsidiary
agreements built from a primary treaty. They exist in many areas of international law but are
especially useful in the environmental field, where they may be used to regularly incorporate
recent scientific knowledge. They also permit countries to reach agreement on a framework that
would be contentious if every detail were to be agreed upon in advance. The most widely known

protocol in international environmental law is the Kyoto Protocol, which followed from the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
While the bodies that proposed, argued, agreed upon and ultimately adopted existing
international agreements vary according to each agreement, certain conferences, including 1972's
United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 1983's World Commission on
Environment and Development, 1992's United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development and 2002's World Summit on Sustainable Development have been particularly
important. Multilateral environmental agreements sometimes create an International
Organization, Institution or Body responsible for implementing the agreement. Major examples
are the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
International environmental law also includes the opinions of international courts and tribunals.
While there are few and they have limited authority, the decisions carry much weight with legal
commentators and are quite influential on the development of international environmental law.
One of the biggest challenges in international decisions is to determine an adequate
compensation for environmental damages.[13] The courts include the International Court of
Justice (ICJ); the international Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS); the European Court of
Justice; European Court of Human Rights[14] and other regional treaty tribunals.
Africa

According to the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement


(INECE), the major environmental issues in Africa are drought and flooding, air pollution,
deforestation, loss of biodiversity, freshwater availability, degradation of soil and vegetation, and
widespread poverty. [15] The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is focused on the
growing urban and industrial pollution, water quality, electronic waste and indoor air from
cookstoves. [16] They hope to provide enough aid on concerns regarding pollution before their
impacts contaminate the African environment as well as the global environment. By doing so,
they intend to protect human health, particularly vulnerable populations such as children and the
poor. [16] In order to accomplish these goals in Africa, EPA programs are focused on
strengthening the ability to enforce environmental laws as well as public compliance to them.
Other programs work on developing stronger environmental laws, regulations, and standards.[16]
Asia

The Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) is an agreement


between 16 Asian countries dedicated to improving cooperation with environmental laws in Asia.
These countries include Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India, Maldives, Japan, Korea, Malaysia,
Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Lao PDR.[17]

European Union

The European Union issues secondary legislation on environmental issues that are valid
throughout the EU (so called regulations) and many directives that must be implemented into
national legislation from the 28 member states (national states). Examples are the Regulation
(EC) No. 338/97 on the implementation of CITES; or the Natura 2000 network the centerpiece
for nature & biodiversity policy, encompassing the bird Directive (79/409/EEC/ changed to
2009/147/EC)and the habitats directive (92/43/EEC). Which are made up of multiple SACs
(Special Areas of Conservation, linked to the habitats directive) & SPAs (Special Protected
Areas, linked to the bird directive), throughout Europe.
EU legislation is ruled in Article 249 Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Topics for common EU legislation are:

Climate change

Air pollution

Water protection and management

Waste management

Soil protection

Protection of nature, species and biodiversity

Noise pollution

Cooperation for the environment with third countries (other than EU member
states)

Civil protection

Middle East

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with countries in the Middle East to
improve environmental governance, water pollution and water security, clean fuels and
vehicles, public participation, and pollution prevention.[18]
Oceania

The main concerns on environmental issues in the Oceanic Region are illegal releases of air and
water pollutants, illegal logging/timber trade, illegal shipment of hazardous wastes, including ewaste and ships slated for destruction, and insufficient institutional structure/lack of enforcement
capacity.[19] The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) is an

international organization between Australia, the Cook Islands, FMS, Fiji, France, Kiribati,
Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Island, Tonga,
Tuvalu, USA, and Vanuatu. The SPREP was established in order to provide assistance in
improving and protecting the environment as well as assure sustainable development for future
generations.[20][21]
Australia

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is the center piece of
environmental legislation in the Australian Government. It sets up the legal framework to
protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities
and heritage places.[22] It also focuses on protecting world heritage properties, national heritage
properties, wetlands of international importance, nationally threatened species and ecological
communities, migratory species, Commonwealth marine areas, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park,
and the environment surrounding nuclear activities.[22] Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983), also
known as the "Tasmanian Dam Case", is the most influential case for Australian environmental
law.[23]
Brazil

The Brazilian government created the Ministry of Environment in 1992 in order to develop better
strategies of protecting the environment, use natural resources sustainably, and enforce public
environmental policies. The Ministry of Environment has authority over policies involving
environment, water resources, preservation, and environmental programs involving the Amazon.
[24]

Canada

The Department of the Environment Act establishes the Department of the Environment in the
Canadian government as well as the position Minister of the Environment. Their duties include
the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment, including water, air
and soil quality; renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora
and fauna; water; meteorology;"[25] The Environmental Protection Act is the main piece of
Canadian environmental legislation that was put into place March 31, 2000. The Act focuses on
respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in
order to contribute to sustainable development."[26] Other principle federal statutes include the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the Species at Risk Act. When provincial and
federal legislation are in conflict federal legislation takes precedence, that being said individual
provinces can have their own legislation such as Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights, and
Clean Water Act.[27]
China

See also: Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "China has been working with great
determination in recent years to develop, implement, and enforce a solid environmental law
framework. Chinese officials face critical challenges in effectively implementing the laws,
clarifying the roles of their national and provincial governments, and strengthening the operation
of their legal system."[28] Explosive economic and industrial growth in China has led to
significant environmental degradation, and China is currently in the process of developing more
stringent legal controls.[29] The harmonization of Chinese society and the natural environment is
billed as a rising policy priority.[30][31][32]
Ecuador

With the enactment of the 2008 Constitution, Ecuador became the first country in the world to
codify the Rights of Nature. The Constitution, specifically Articles 10 and 71-74, recognizes the
inalienable rights of ecosystems to exist and flourish, gives people the authority to petition on the
behalf of ecosystems, and requires the government to remedy violations of these rights. The
rights approach is a break away from traditional environmental regulatory systems, which regard
nature as property and legalize and manage degradation of the environment rather than prevent
it.[33]
The Rights of Nature articles in Ecuador's constitution are part of a reaction to a combination of
political, economic, and social phenomena. Ecuador's abusive past with the oil industry, most
famously the class-action litigation against Chevron, and the failure of an extraction-based
economy and neoliberal reforms to bring economic prosperity to the region has resulted in the
election of a New Leftist regime, led by President Rafael Correa, and sparked a demand for new
approaches to development. In conjunction with this need, the principle of "Buen Vivir," or good
livingfocused on social, environmental and spiritual wealth versus material wealthgained
popularity among citizens and was incorporated into the new constitution.[34]
The influence of indigenous groups, from whom the concept of "Buen Vivir" originates, in the
forming of the constitutional ideals also facilitated the incorporation of the Rights of Nature as a
basic tenet of their culture and conceptualization of "Buen Vivir." [35]
Egypt

The Environmental Protection Law outlines the responsibilities of the Egyptian government to
preparation of draft legislation and decrees pertinent to environmental management, collection
of data both nationally and internationally on the state of the environment, preparation of
periodical reports and studies on the state of the environment, formulation of the national plan
and its projects, preparation of environmental profiles for new and urban areas, and setting of

standards to be used in planning for their development, and preparation of an annual report on
the state of the environment to be prepared to the President."[36]
India

In India, Environmental law is governed by the Environment Protection Act, 1986.[37] This act is
enforced by the Central Pollution Control Board and the numerous State Pollution Control
Boards. Apart from this, there are also individual legislations specifically enacted for the
protection of Water, Air, Wildlife, etc. Such legislations include :

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977

The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Union Territories) Rules, 1983

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001

Recycled Plastics, Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999

The National Green Tribunal established under the National Green Tribunal Act
of 2010[38] has jurisdiction over all environmental cases dealing with a
substantial environmental question and acts covered under the Water
(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules, 1978

Ganga Action Plan, 1986

The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The acts covered under Indian Wild Life Protection Act 1972 do not fall within
the jurisdiction of the National Green Tribunal. [39] Appeals can be filed in the
Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. [40]

Basel Convention on Control of TransboundaryMovements on Hazardous


Wastes and Their Disposal, 1989 and Its Protocols

Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Amendment Rules, 2003 [41]

Japan

The Basic Environmental Law is the basic structure of Japans environmental policies replacing
the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control and the Nature Conservation Law. The
updated law aims to address global environmental problems, urban pollution by everyday life,
loss of accessible natural environment in urban areas and degrading environmental protection
capacity in forests and farmlands.[42]
The three basic environmental principles that the Basic Environmental Law follows are the
blessings of the environment should be enjoyed by the present generation and succeeded to the
future generations, a sustainable society should be created where environmental loads by human
activities are minimized, and Japan should contribute actively to global environmental
conservation through international cooperation.[42] From these principles, the Japanese
government have established policies such as environmental consideration in policy
formulation, establishment of the Basic Environment Plan which describes the directions of
long-term environmental policy, environmental impact assessment for development projects,
economic measures to encourage activities for reducing environmental load, improvement of
social infrastructure such as sewerage system, transport facilities etc., promotion of
environmental activities by corporations, citizens and NGOs, environmental education, and
provision of information, promotion of science and technology."[42]
New Zealand
Main article: New Zealand environmental law

The Ministry for the Environment and Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the
Environment were established by the Environment Act 1986. These positions are responsible for
advising the Minister on all areas of environmental legislation. A common theme of New
Zealands environmental legislation is sustainably managing natural and physical resources,
fisheries, and forests. The Resource Management Act 1991 is the main piece of environmental
legislation that outlines the governments strategy to managing the environment, including air,
water soil, biodiversity, the coastal environment, noise, subdivision, and land use planning in
general.[43]
Russia

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation makes regulation
regarding conservation of natural resources, including the subsoil, water bodies, forests located
in designated conservation areas, fauna and their habitat, in the field of hunting,
hydrometeorology and related areas, environmental monitoring and pollution control, including
radiation monitoring and control, and functions of public environmental policy making and
implementation and statutory regulation."[44]

South Africa
Main article: South African environmental law
United States
Main article: United States environmental law
Vietnam

Vietnam is currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on dioxin
remediation and technical assistance in order to lower methane emissions. On March 2002, the
U.S and Vietnam signed the U.S.-Vietnam Memorandum of Understanding on Research on
Human Health and the Environmental Effects of Agent Orange/Dioxin.[45]
See also

List of environmental law journals

References
1.
For example, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has identified
eleven "emerging principles and concepts" in international environmental law,
derived from the 1972 Stockholm Conference, the 1992 Rio Declaration, and more
recent developments. UNEP, Training Manual on International Environmental Law
(Chapter 3).
UNEP Manual, 12-19.
UNEP Manual, 20-23.
UNEP Manual, 24-28.
UNEP Manual, 58.
Rio Declaration Principle 16; UNEP Manual 63.
Aldred's Case (1610) 9 Co Rep 57b; (1610) 77 ER 816
R v Stephens (1866) LR 1 QB 702
Rylands v Fletcher [1868] UKHL 1
See generally R. Lazarus, The Making of Environmental Law (Cambridge Press
2004); P. Gates, History of Public Land Law Development.
See, e.g., DDT.

In the United States, estimates of environmental regulation's total costs reach


2% of GDP. See Pizer & Kopp, Calculating the Costs of Environmental Regulation, 1
(2003 Resources for the Future).
Hardman Reis, T., Compensation for Environmental Damages Under
International Law, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 2011, ISBN 978-90-4113437-0.
"ECtHR case-law factsheet on environment" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-08.
"INECE Regions- Africa". Retrieved 18 October 2012.
"Africa International Programs". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved
October 18, 2012.
"AECEN". www.aecen.org. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
"EPA Middle East". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 23 October
2012.
"INECE Regions - Asia and the Pacific". Retrieved October 18, 2012.
"Agreement Establishing SPREP". Retrieved October 18, 2012.
Taylor, Prue; Stroud, Lucy; Peteru, Clark (2013). Multilateral Environmental
Agreement Negotiators Handbook: Pacific Region 2013 (PDF). Samoa / New
Zealand: Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme / New Zealand
Centre for Environmental Law, University of Auckland. ISBN 978-982-04-0475-5.
"EPBC Act". Retrieved October 18, 2012.
Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983) 158 CLR 1 (1 July 1983)
"Apresentao". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
"Department of the Environment Act". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
"Environment Canada". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
See Canada's Legal System Overview.
EPA, China Environmental Law Initiative.
Vermont Law School, China Partnership for Environmental Law; C. McElwee,
Environmental Law in China: Mitigating Risk and Ensuring Compliance.
NRDC, Environmental Law in China.
Wang, Alex (2013). "The Search for Sustainable Legitimacy: Environmental
Law and Bureaucracy in China". Harvard Environmental Law Review 37: 365.

Rachel E. Stern, Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political


Ambivalence (Cambridge University Press 2013)
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). 2008.
http://www.celdf.org/, accessed April, 2012.
Gudynas, Eduardo. 2011. Buen Vivir: Today's Tomorrow Development
54(4):441-447.
Becker, Marc. 2011 Correa, Indigenous Movements, and the Writing of a New
Constitution in Ecuador. Latin American Perspectives 38(1):47-62.
"Law 4". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
"THE ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986". envfor.nic.in. Retrieved 201508-27.
[1]
"THE INDIAN WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT, 1972". envfor.nic.in. Retrieved
2015-08-27.
Rhuks Temitope, "THE JUDICIAL RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE
RIGHT TO ENVIRONMENT:DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES FROM NIGERIA AND INDIA",
NUJS LAW REVIEW, January 2, 2015
Surendra Malik, Sudeep Malik. Supreme Court on Environment Law (2015
ed.). India: EBC. ISBN 9789351451914.
"The Basic Environment Law". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
"Ministry for the Environment". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
"Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation".
Retrieved 27 June 2015.
1

"Vietnam International Programs". Environmental Protection Agency.


Retrieved October 18, 2012.

Further reading

Farber & Carlson, eds. (2013). Cases and Materials on Environmental Law,
9th. West Academic Publishing. 1008 pp. ISBN 978-0314283986.

Akhatov, Aydar (1996). Ecology & International Law. oscow: ST-PRESS. 512
pp. ISBN 5-214-00225-4 (English) / (Russian)

Faure, Michael, and Niels Philipsen, eds. (2014). Environmental Law &
European Law. The Hague: Eleven International Publishing. 142 pp. ISBN
9789462360754 (English)

Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, eds. (2015). MCQ on Environmental Law. ISBN
9789351452454

Surender Malik & Sudeep Malik, eds. (2015).Supreme Court on Environment


Law. ISBN 9789351451914

External links
International

United Nations Environment Programme

ECOLEX (Gateway to Environmental Law)

Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide(E-LAW)

Centre for International Environmental Law

Wildlife Interest Group, American Society of International Law

EarthRights International

Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense

United Kingdom Environmental Law Association

Lexadin global law database

Upholding Environmental Laws in Asia and the Pacific

United States

American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

EarthJustice

"Law Journals: Submission and Ranking, 2007-2014," Washington & Lee


University, Lexington, VA

Canada

West Coast Environmental Law (non-profit law firm)

Ecojustice

Canadian Environmental Law Association

Environmental Law Centre (of Alberta)

European Union

Europa: Environmental rules of the European Union

Europa: Summaries of Legislation - Environment


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Abstract
Environmental modernization of the economy includes the implementation of environmental
policies which connect environmental management to technical environmental innovations and
improved economic performance. Some of the most important instruments in this respect are
standards for environmental management systems such as the EU Environmental Management
and Auditing Scheme (EMAS). Based on a unique data set of German EMAS-validated facilities,

this paper investigates the effects of different characteristics of EMAS on technical


environmental innovations and economic performance. Most firms report a positive influence of
environmental management systems in general on environmental process innovations.
Furthermore, environmental reports support the diffusion of technical environmental innovations.
The econometric analysis shows a positive impact of the maturity of environmental management
systems on environmental process innovations. Another important determinant of environmental
process innovations is the strong participation of specific departments in the further development
of EMAS such as the R&D department. For environmental product innovations, learning
processes by environmental management systems have a positive impact. Such learning
processes as well as environmental process innovations also have a positive influence on
economic performance. We conclude that a careful design of EMAS is important for both the
environmental and economic performance of a facility. The conclusions should also be relevant
for the worldwide ISO 14001 standard since over 55% of the interviewed EMAS-validated firms
have also implemented ISO 14001.

Environment Impact Assessment


The Government of Rwanda takes environmental protection very seriously and has taken
significant steps to ensure a balance between economic development and environmental
protection, as well as to prevent environmental degradation. Notable among the measure taken is
the ban of manufacturing and use of polythene bags. The Government has established a clear

legal and institutional framework for environmental protection. Rwanda Environmental


Management Authority (REMA) is the principal agency responsible for the management of the
environment in Rwanda and coordinates, monitors and supervises all activities in this field.
In addition, projects that affect the environment are subject to an Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) prior to obtaining authorization for their implementation. Before
commencing implementation of business projects, investors are required to cross-check whether
their projects are required to undergo an EIA. Applications for EIA certificate should be
addressed to RDB.
What is Environmental Impact Assessment?

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is defined as a systematic process to predict, identify,


and evaluate the environmental effects of proposed actions and projects. The process is used to
prevent and mitigate adverse impacts, enhance positive impacts and assist the rational use of
natural resources to maximize the benefit of socio-economic development projects and ensuring
sustainable development.
What are the economic benefits of EIA process?

Once adverse impacts are identified from the proposed project, advance corrective measures can
be incorporated into the project which helps developers to minimize environmental risks and
financial costs. However, options are considered for the projects where damage is irreversible to
assist developers to invest in profit making ventures which would have been lost due to
environmental problems. The process ensures financially and economically efficient projects
with guarantee to attain long term profits.
Which projects require EIA?

Projects with identified adverse impacts on environment call for a full EIA process for mitigation
measures and thus the Ministerial Order N004/2008 of 15/08/2008 establishing the list of
works, activities and projects that have to undertake an environmental impact assessment
highlights some projects as follows; construction and repair of international and national roads,
large bridges, industries, factories, hydro-dams and electrical lines, public dams for water
conservation, rain water harvesting for agricultural activities and artificial lakes, large hotels
public building which accommodate more than one hundred daily, extraction of mines and public
land fills among others.
Why carry out EIA process?

Carrying out EIA process enables implementation of environmental safeguards to mitigate


significant impacts caused by execution of projects which avoids ecological damage and large-

scale irreversible loss of natural resources.


However, various projects have different level damage or pollution to the environment
depending on their activities, size and products among others.
Who meets the cost of EIA?

Upon the submission of the project, a developer is required to pay for an administrative fee to the
environmental fund (FONERWA) to be determined by a percentage of the estimated cost of the
investment as stipulated in the article of 69 of the Organic Law (No. /04/2005 of 08/04/2005,
determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in RDA.
This exercise, however, has not been operational because the Ministerial decree (order) has not
been enacted as yet. EIA process is not time wasting or expensive but rather a planning tool for
long term investments derived from equitable use of natural resources upon which people highly
rely on for survival.