Environmental law is a collective term relating the network of regulations, treaties, statutes and customary laws concerning the effects of human activities on nature. The following are important principles guiding environmental law all over the world.
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Sustainable development is the improvement that meets the current needs without compromising the potential of the coming generations to have sustainability. It is considered together with concepts such as integration and interdependence. Laws authorizing environmental impact assessment as well as requiring and encouraging development to reduce environmental impacts are assessed against this particular principle.
Equity is the right of coming generations to enjoy a substantial level of the general patrimony. It is the right of everybody within the existing generation to access the current contemporary entitlement to the natural resources. Environmental equity regards the present generation under the responsibility to account for lasting impacts of their activities. They are expected to act to maintain the global resource and environment for future generations. Pollution control, as well as resource management laws, is assessed against this specific principle.
It is the obligation to safeguard one’s environment and prevent pollution to neighboring environments. Trans-boundary duty at the global level is considered as a limitation on the rights of all sovereign states. Laws that act to curtail externalities imposed on human health and environment are contrasted with this principle.
Transparency and Public Participation
They are identified as critical conditions for governments’ accountability and involvement of the public in environmental preservation. It includes the right of access to comprehensible, appropriate and timely information possessed by governments. It also involves industrial concerns related to economic and social policies about the sustainable utilization of natural resources.
For adequate protection the environment, the precautionary strategy should be applied by governments according to the best of their ability. Where there exists threats of severe or irreversible damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as an excuse for postponing cost-friendly measures to avert environmental degradation.
Prevention is considered an overall aim that produces a multitude of legal apparatus including prior evaluations of environmental pollution, permission or licensing. That sets the conditions for functions and consequences for contravention of the conditions and the adoption of approaches and policies.
Polluter Pays Principle
The principle represents the idea that the environmental expenditures of economic activities should be internalized instead of being imposed on societies. All issues related to obligations for the cost of remediation and conformity with pollution regulations involves this basic principle.