Sustainable development

Páginas: 13 (3110 palavras) Publicado: 24 de maio de 2011
NITAR - course 1
Course 1 Assignment

Question 3

“Sustainable Development: Discuss the concept of sustainable development based on examples taken from international law and the national law of your country. Discuss the interrelationship between the concept of sustainable development and the instruments of international environmental law. “

Erick Eduardo GOYANO MAC-KAY

1287, BrazilAv. Louis Casaï, 49 - Geneva, Switzerland

As time passes by, natural systems degradation continues to grow, affecting drastically our ecosystem. Uncontrolled consumption and mishandling of natural resources have consequences as the collapse of the economic, social and political structure of modern society[1]. We live in a period of historic transition, in whichthe awareness of conflicts between human activities and the environment requires us a new perspective focusing on the ecosystems’ functioning, and on recognition that a change of values and an improvement of known and developing of new abilities to employ natural resources must be met to guarantee the preservation of the ecosystem for benefit of present and future generations.[2]

Tomerge economic progress with sustainable production figures as one of the greatest challenges for both domestic and international law. The concept of “sustainable development” comes to address this challenge, strengthening the respect of the Human Right of Development[3] and of a Clean and Health Environment.[4]

The sustainable development theme can be conceptually divided in three maincomponents: environment sustainability, economic sustainability and socio-political sustainability, considering them as interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars.[5] We can find different definitions and approaches concerning the “sustainable development” in the most various environment national and international legal documents, most of them, if not all, considering the “environment protectionas an integral part of the development process to achieve sustainable development.”[6]

Since the end of the 1960s, also known as the beginning of the “ecological era”, a series of legal texts, both national and international, came to recognize the urgent need to protect the environment, although, at this time environmentally friendly decisions were not always welcomed by the privatesector, represented by the investors, industrialists, and other major economic groups. These groups offered strong resistance due to their economic interests, but many decision-makers realized that such attitude did not correspond to the public opinion, seen that even customers were beginning to acquire a positive consciousness on the matter, giving preference to products and services “environmentallypreferable” less harmful for the human environment.[7]

At the same decade, in 1968, the Club of Rome was founded by 36 European scientists and economists. Some years later, based on a holistic approach to find solutions to global problems, they came up with a report that drew the public attention by modeling the consequences of an unbalanced interaction between industrial production,population growth, environmental damage, consumption of food and use of natural resources[8]. Still in 1968, the International Conference of Rational Use and Conservation of the Biosphere[9] was coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), allowing the first discussions on ecologically sustainable development concept.

Following the trend, fouryears later, in 1972, economic development and environment degradation relationship was introduced in the international agenda of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm. This conference was based on pollution and acid rain regional problems of northern Europe. For the first time it was openly recognized the need for an international environmental policy. The...
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