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UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Submitted to:
Submitted by:
Mr.Hrishikesh Manu Sir
Arunabh Sharma
(Faculty, Environmental Law )
Roll no.725
7TH Semester

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The present project on United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development has been
able to get its final shape with the support and help of people from various quarters. My
sincere thanks go to all the members without whom the study could not have come to its
present state. I am proud to acknowledge gratitude to the individuals during my study and
without whom the study may not be completed. I have taken this opportunity to thank those
who genuinely helped me.
With immense pleasure, I express my deepest sense of gratitude to Mr.Hrishikesh Manu Sir,
Faculty for Environmental law, Chanakya National Law University for helping me in my
project. I am also thankful to the whole Chanakya National Law University family that
provided me all the material I required for the project.
I have made every effort to acknowledge credits, but I apologies in advance for any omission
that may have inadvertently taken place. I would like to thank my parents and especially my
elder sister without the blessing and co-operation of which the completion of the project
would not have been possible.
Last but not least I would like to thank Almighty whose blessing helped me to complete the
project .

RESEARCH METHDOLOGY

Aims and Objectives:


The aim of the project is to present a detailed study of the United Nations Conference
on Sustainable Development through decisions and suggestions and different writings and
articles.
Scope and Limitations:
Though this is an immense project and pages can be written over the topic but
because of certain restrictions and limitations I was not able to deal with the topic in great
detail. Two points on which special emphasis has been given in this research are:
i

To study the judicial interpretation related laws regarding the topic.

ii

To find out the various provisions related the topic.

Method of Writing:
The method of writing followed in the course of this research paper is primarily
analytical.
Mode of Citation:
The researcher has followed a uniform mode of citation throughout the course of this
research paper.
Research Technique:
The research methodology used is basically from books on CPC.
Sources of Data:
1

Articles

Books

Websites

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
HISTORY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT RIO 20 CONFERENCE
PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
POLLUTER PAYS PRINCIPLE
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION:-

Sustainable Development is a process in which development can be sustained for Sustainable


Development is a process in which development can be sustained for generations. It means
improving the quality of human life while at the same time living in generations.1 It means
improving

the

quality

of

human

life

while

at

the

same

time

living

in harmony with nature and maintaining the carrying capacity of the life supporting harmony
with nature and maintaining the carrying capacity of the life supporting ecosystem.

Development means increasing the societys ability to meet human needs. Economic growth
is an important component but cannot be a goal itself. The real aim Economic growth is an
important component but cannot be a goal itself. The real aim must be to improve the quality
of human existence to ensure people to enjoy long, healthy must be to improve the quality of
human existence to ensure people to enjoy long, healthy and fulfilling life.
Brundtland Commission puts it as development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations.2

HISTORY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


1 http.//www.scribd.com/rio20conference
2 http://brundtlandcommisionreportibid07

The sustainability idea emerged in a series of meetings and reports during the 1970s andThe
sustainability idea emerged in a series of meetings and reports during the 1970s and 1980s,
besides there is a timeline of some important sustainable development events in1980s,
besides there is a timeline of some important sustainable development events in the United
Nations, the Government of Canada and Human Resources Development.
In 1972, the UN Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment marked theIn 1972, the
UN

Stockholm

Conference

on

the

Human

Environment

marked

the first great international meeting on how human activities were harming thefirst great inter
national meeting on how human activities were harming the environment and putting humans
at risk.environment and putting humans at risk.3
The 1980 World Conservation Strategy, prepared by the International Union for The 1980
World Conservation Strategy, prepared by the International Union for the Conservation of
Nature along with the UN Environment Program and the Conservation of Nature along with
the

UN

Environment

Program

of environmental protection

in the

and

the World Wildlife

self-World Wildlife

Fund,
Fund,

promoted
promoted

the idea
the idea

of environmental protection in the self-interest of the human species. Interest of the human
species.4

3 http://www.preservearticles.in
4 http://www.lawnotes.in

In 1987, the UN-sponsored Brundtland Commission released Our Common Future , a report
that captured widespread concerns about the environment and, a report that captured
widespread concerns about the environment and poverty in many parts of the world. The
Brundtland report said that economic poverty in many parts of the world. The Brundtland
report said that economic development cannot stop, but it must change course to fit within the
planet'sdevelopment cannot stop, but it must change course to fit within the
planet's ecological limits. It also popularized the term sustainable development.ecological
limits. It also popularized the term sustainable development.
World attention on sustainability peaked at the 1992 UN Conference onWorld attention on su
stainability peaked at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de
Janeiro. It brought together the 179Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro. It
brought together the 179 nations and included the Earth Summit, the largest-ever meeting of
world leaders.nations and included the Earth Summit, the largest-ever meeting of world
leaders. Rio produced two international agreements, two statements of principles and aRio
produced two international agreements, two statements of principles and a major action
agenda on worldwide sustainable development.major action agenda on worldwide sustainable
development.5
In the year 2002, that is ten years after the Earth Summit in Rio, the World In the year 2002,
that is ten years after the Earth Summit in Rio, the World Summit for Sustainable
Development was held in Johannesburg. Here Canada Summit for Sustainable Development
was held in Johannesburg. Here Canada submitted a document reflecting the progress of all

5 http//:www.lawnotes.in/sustainabledevelopment

federal

departments6.

Submitted

document

reflecting

the

progress

of

all

federal departments.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA


Although India has traditional institutions, practicing Sustainable Development, the
Rio Summit 1992 and WSSD 2002 commitments have changed our policy and plan.Summit
1992 and WSSD 2002 commitments have changed our policy and plan. To achieve
sustainable development, the National Conservation Strategy (NCS) formulated achieve
sustainable development, the National Conservation Strategy (NCS) formulated in 1990 has
six primary principles. They are - (i) Stabilization of population growth; (ii)in 1990 has six
primary principles. They are - (i) Stabilization of population growth; (ii) Integrated land use
and water management; (iii) Conservation of biological diversity; (iv)Integrated land use and
water management; (iii) Conservation of biological diversity; (iv) Sustainable energy and
resource utilization; (v) Pollution control; and (vi) Improvement Sustainable energy and
resource utilization; (v) Pollution control; and (vi) Improvement of human habitats. Followed
by NCS, Environmental Action Program (EAP) and National Forestry Action Followed by
NCS,

Environmental

Action

Program

(EAP)

and

National

Forestry

Action Plan (NFAP) were formulated towards the objective of Sustainable Development of Pl
an (NFAP) were formulated towards the objective of Sustainable Development of India. Thre
e important government contributions to environment and sustainableIndia. Three important
government contributions to environment and sustainable development over the past one and
half decades are summarized below: development over the past one and half decades are
summarized below:

6http://n.p.nd.webibid07/sustainabledevelopment

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Formulation and enforcement of policy and legal instruments. Example:Formulation and enfo
rcement of policy and legal instruments. Example: Conservation Strategy, Amendment of out
dated Acts or Enactment of Conservation Strategy, Amendment of outdated Acts or Enactme
nt of comprehensive

new

ones

like

the

Forest

Conservation

Act

and

the

Environmentcomprehensive new ones like the Forest Conservation Act and the
Environment (Protection) Act; and(Protection) Act; and

Implementation of programs and projects for SD.Implementation of programs and projects


for SD.During the late 1970s and early 1980s, many people argued that development must
takeDuring the late 1970s and early 1980s, many people argued that development must
take priority over environmental concerns and that environment was an elitist concern -- prio
rity over environmental concerns and that environment was an elitist concern
-- meant only for the rich. In 1982, the first citizens report on themeant only for the rich. In 1
982, the first citizens report on the which Agarwal conceptualised and edited, provided the
social rationale for , which Agarwal conceptualised and edited, provided the social rationale
for developing countries to take environmental concerns into account. It resolved thedevelop
ing countries to take environmental concerns into account.7
It resolved the environment vs. development debate globally and finally evolved into the
concept of environment vs. development debate globally and finally evolved into the concept
of sustainable

development

in

the

Brundtland

Commission

7 http://brundtlandcommssionreport/sustainabledevelopmentrio+20

report.sustainable

development in the Brundtland Commission report.The interest in sustainability that


flourished during that period was spurred by a series of The interest in sustainability that
flourished during that period was spurred by a series of incidents and discoveries, including
the leak of poisonous gas from a chemical plant atincidents and discoveries, including the
leak of poisonous gas from a chemical plant at Bhopal, India, the explosion and radioactive
release from Chernobyl, Ukraine, the hole inBhopal, India, the explosion and radioactive
release from Chernobyl, Ukraine, the hole in the Antarctic ozone layer, leaking toxic
chemical dumps, such as Love Canal, generalthe Antarctic ozone layer, leaking toxic
chemical dumps, such as Love Canal, general fears about chemical contamination and
conflicts over decreasing natural resources suchfears about chemical contamination and
conflicts over decreasing natural resources such as forests and fisheries.as forests and
fisheries.

PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
The principles states that the Government and the statutory bodies must takeThe principles st
ates that the Government and the statutory bodies must take environmental

measures

to

anticipate prevent and attack the causes of environmental measures to anticipate prevent and
attack the causes of environmental degradation. In these circumstances the onus of proof is
on the actor or the developer/industrialist to show that his action is environmentally
benign.the developer/industrialist to show that his action is environmentally benign.

POLLUTER PAYS PRINCIPLE


Polluter

Pays

Principle

(PPP)

has

been

developed

by

the

Organisation

of

EconomicPolluter Pays Principle (PPP) has been developed by the Organisation of Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) as one of the principles for allocation of Cooperation
and Development (OECD) as one of the principles for allocation of entitlements.

The

principle basically means that the producer of goods or other itemsentitlements. The principle
basically means that the producer of goods or other items should be responsible for the costs
of preventing or dealing with pollution which theshould be responsible for the costs of
preventing or dealing with pollution which the process causes. This includes environmental
costs as well as the direct costs to property process causes. This includes environmental costs
as well as the direct costs to property or people.PPP finds a prominent place in the Rio
Declaration

of

1992.

Principle

16

of

the Declaration proclaims that national authorities should endeavour to promote theDeclaratio
n proclaims that national authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization

of

environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into internalisation of
environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach
that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, withaccount the approach that
the

polluter

should,

in

principle,

bear

the

cost

of

pollution,

with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade anddue regard
to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.investment.
As per this principle once the activity carried on any person or industry isAs per this principle
once the activity carried on any person or industry is hazardous or inherently dangerous, the
person carrying on such activity is liable to makehazardous or inherently dangerous, the
person carrying on such activity is liable to make good the loss caused to any other person by

his activity irrespective of the fact whether hegood the loss caused to any other person by his
activity irrespective of the fact whether he took reasonable care while carrying on his
activity.took reasonable care while carrying on his activity8.

Thus the purpose is to ensure that the developmental activities must be carried on but at the
is to ensure that the developmental activities must be carried on but at the same time if they
adversely affect the environment or the ecology in any manner then thesame time if they
adversely affect the environment or the ecology in any manner then the consequence is the
polluting industries are absolutely liable to compensate for the harmconsequence is the
polluting industries are absolutely liable to compensate for the harm caused by them to
people in the affected area, to the soil and to the underground water caused by them to people
in the affected area, to the soil and to the underground water and hence, they are bound to
take all necessary measures to remove sludge and other and hence, they are bound to take all
necessary measures to remove sludge and other pollutants lying in the affected
areas. pollutants lying in the affected areas.

8 http://www.scribdarticle/sustainabledevelopment

MECHANISM

FOR

ASSESSMENT

OF

SUSTAINABLE

DEVELOPMENT
ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESTMENT
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is a technique to ensure that the likely effects of is a
technique to ensure that the likely effects of development activity on the environment will be
taken into consideration before thedevelopment activity on the environment will be taken into
consideration before the development activity is authorised to proceed.development activity
is authorised to proceed.
The aim of this chapter is to present the preparation and outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference
in detail and to complement studies already produced. An overview of the conference, its
crucial objectives and themes will be offered, together with insights on the process. Most of
the information is retrieved from the Rio+20 website and from other official sources,
especially United Nations. Particular attention will be also devoted to the EU position. In
addition, we offer a word cloud analysis of the final draft Rio+20 text, The Future We
Want, that was presented to the heads-of-state (version of 19 June), with the final texts of the
Rio declaration 1992 and Johannesburg Plan of Implementation 2002.
Commonly known as the Rio+20 Conference, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development (UNCSD) took place in Rio de Janeiro between the 20-22 June 2012, twenty
years after the UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development),
which was also hosted in Rio in 1992. More than 150 heads-of-state and ministers kicked off
the Rio+20 Conference9 on 20 June 2012. Important heads-of-state, like Barack Obama
(USA), David Cameron (UK), and Angela Merkel (Germany) as well as dozens of other
9 http://brundtland report/sustainabledevelopment

leaders have snubbed the talks (The Guardian, 20 June 2012, a4 ). The most important
heads-of-state were, as the New York Times put it, preoccupied by domestic politics and the
financial turmoil in Europe (New York Times, 18 June5 ). The Guardian argued that the
absence of so many key figures has dismayed the architects of global sustainability
governance (The Guardian, 20 June 2012, a). Gro Harlem Brundtland, famous for her 1987
WCED report, also pointed out that its not good and it doesnt look good (ibid.). Apart
from a lower number of important heads-of-state compared to what was expected,
widespread disappointment regarding the strategy the politicians would finally adopt at
Rio+20 predominated the start of the mega-conference. The deal reached by advance
negotiators was criticised as too weak to be effective (The Guardian, 20 June 2012, a). For
example, Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner, said via twitter that nobody in that
room adopting the text was happy10.

10 http://www.scribd.com/rio20sustainabledevelopment

CONCLUSION:The reason for the low expectations at the beginning of the conference regarding the results
of Rio+20 seemed to be the lack of clear commitments, timetables, financing or means of
monitoring progress. Gro Harlem Brundtland argued that the lack of political commitment
may also be due to the current situation of economic and financial crises: The financial and
economic problems that some countries face dont make it easier for them to agree on things
that they would have agreed before 2008. (The Guardian, 20 June 2012). Jeffrey Sachs,
director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, also argued that the timing of the
conference was unfortunate in times of debt and budget crises shaking the EU: Europe has
been the great leader of environmental action, but Europe is hardly functioning right now.
(New York Times, 18 June). And for President Obama, as argued in the New York Time, it
was impossible to go because he had no financial resources to offer and because he would
face substantial criticism at home for seeming to be more concerned with global problems
than domestic issues it is a US presidential election year after all (ibid.) Nevertheless, Gro
Harlem Brundtland predicted that, like it had been the case in many international
negotiations, the final days may produce some surprises: There are more than 100 leaders
coming after all. They are not going to leave with nothing.
The main three objectives of the Ri+20 Conference were: to secure renewed political
commitment for sustainable development, to assess the progress to date and the remaining
gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable
development, and to address new and emerging challenges. The conference focused mainly
on two themes: I. a green economy in the context of SD and poverty eradication; II. The
institutional framework for SD.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:Books Used:1. Sustainable Development in India Dhirish Adhikhari vol.II


2. United Nation Conference on Sustainable Development Brundtland
Report vol.I
Websites Used:1. Scribd.com
2. Preservearticles.com
3. Lawnotes.in