The United Nations Conference On Environment And Development In 1992 Resulted In An Agreement To

The precautionary principle states that the lack of full scientific safety should not be invoked as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental damage. In other words, a cautious approach to regulation and management should be taken in the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – the Earth Summit – recommended principles to guide action in the fields of environment, development and social affairs. It also endorsed Agenda 21, an action plan for sustainable development. While the principles and measures are not binding, they represent a major shift towards the understanding that sustainability must take into account the interdependence between environment and development, both in developed (north) and developing (south) countries. As shown in Figure 1, global environmental problems, such as greenhouse gases that occur in the North, threaten the development capacity of the South, while poverty and overpopulation in the South lead to local pressures on the environment, such as air and water pollution. The “Earth Summit” concluded that the concept of sustainable development was an achievable goal for all the peoples of the world, whether at the local, national, regional or international levels. He also recognized that integration and balance between economic, social and environmental concerns are essential for the preservation of human life on the planet and that such an integrated approach is possible. The conference also understood that integration and balance between the economic, social and environmental dimensions requires new perceptions of how we produce and consume, how we live and work and how we make decisions. This approach was revolutionary in its time and sparked a lively debate within governments and between governments and their citizens on how to ensure the sustainability of development. As part of the definitions of waste and its environmentally sound recovery and disposal, the OECD has defined the provisions for its transboundary shipment and acceptance within and outside Member States. Each country was invited to draw up a list of wastes that it would no longer accept for recovery or disposal, in particular due to the lack of appropriate treatment facilities and risks to human health. Procedures for non-acceptance and return of waste have also been established if it is delivered in error.

Until the UNC meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, much of the preparatory work had been completed. Regulatory and policy infrastructures were in place. The objective of the conference was to propose alternative strategies and measures that could be taken in the short, medium and long term to ensure that environmental consideration and respect are integrated into all aspects of the development process. The Basel Convention provided the common framework for the classification, management and treatment of wastes. . . .

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