Sunday, August 12, 2012

On August 12

On this day in ...
... 1992 (20 years ago today), at the so-called Earth Summit, the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was adopted. The nonbinding declaration's 27 principles include notable provisions on sustainability and precaution; specifically, Principle 1:
'Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.'
And Principle 15:
'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.'

(Prior August 12 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

1 comment:

CaitlynA said...

I was pleased with the wording of Principle 15 when it was approved at the end of the fourth UNCED PrepComm in April of 1992 and remain so today. The precautionary "approach" was able to gain consensus support from governments when the precautionary "principle" was not. It is a practical interpretation of the precautionary principle that incorporates a good deal of caution into development decisions while still leaving the balance of economic development and environmental risk to be determined by the people (or at least their governments) affected by the decisions.