Essay On Environmental Issues And The Concept Of Development

The case arose from a 1977 treaty between Hungary and Czechoslovakia whereby the two countries decided to construct hydroelectric facilities on the river Danube and also to improve navigation and flood control on the same river.During the year 1989, Hungary suspended and later abandoned work on the said project because of environmental concerns raised regarding the Project.Principle 1 of the Rio Declaration stated that ‘Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.

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The human right to environment can be understood in two contexts: either as an independent right existing separately or as a part of other existing human rights.

Some of the major international instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights preceded the groundswell of concern for the environment that has sprang up in the late sixties.

Principle 1 of the Declaration of the UN Conference on the Human Environment stated that ‘Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being….’ Although many commentators were disappointed that the Stockholm Declaration did not expressly declare the existence of a new human right, yet this Declaration is in many ways the furthest the international community has come to recognize an independent human right to environment as it expressly declared that man was entitled to live his life in an environment of a quality that permitted a life of dignity and well being.

The UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 further elaborated on this.

This is because a clean and healthy environment is necessary to enjoy human rights in their entirety.

Here the interests of the environment would have to be balanced keeping in mind the other human rights.

Apart from these international instruments, there are regional instruments which speak of the human right to environment.

Article 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which entered into force on Oct.

Judge Weeramantri, in a separate opinion, stated that the protection of the environment was a vital part of the contemporary human rights doctrine for it was a sine qua non for the enjoyment of various human rights.

The question asked at the beginning remains to be answered.


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