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Sustainable Development : A Core Idea For Environmental Protection; A Socio-Legal Study

Author: Priyadarshini Goenka Student, National Law University, Odisha

International Concern For Environment Protection & Sustainable Development

Firstly the concept of environment protection and secondly sustainable development is relative to current derivation. The U.N. Conference that was conducted emphasising on Human Environment and Development at Stockholm in 1972 is regarded as the Magna Carta of the concept addressed being significant. It was the first time the entire world united to address some of the important issues aiming at the above issues which was finally addressed as “Stockholm Declaration of the Human Environment”.

The overall fortification and enhancement of the environment are some of the main issues that help shape better lives of human beings and enhance the economic development. We have finally reached the point wherein our actions need to concentrate on the adverse consequences on the environment. The aim is not only to protect the environment but also to help motivate our future generations in doing the same thereafter setting an imperative goal for mankind. The same could be achieved when not only the citizens but also the various enterprises and institutions agree on mutual terms and share the responsibilities on common grounds.

Principle 1 clearly states, “Man has the fundamental right of freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generation.”

The report brought out by World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 aided in providing desired direction that sustained our focus on the common concerns that might arise in the future. There was a need to address concerns of peace, security development, and the environment.

The Earth Summit that took place at Rio de Janeiro, through Rio Declaration thereafter bringing Article 21 into the vision not only helped concretize the issue but also took strong stands on environmental protection and development. As per universal standards, Article 21 was adopted as a comprehensive print of actions pointing at sustainable development thus including the desired efforts, strategies, goal line, responsibilities, and capital.

In 1997 in specific the World Climatic Conference that took place in Kyoto (Japan) an agreement that required all the industrialised economies to cut off their greenhouse emissions for the protection of our planet from global warming was pictured. In the following months of August-September 2002, the Summit kept its focus intact on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa where all its representatives adopted a similar declaration that would help build a humane, equitable, and considerate global society.

In 2002, the World Summit that took place considering Sustainable Development was apprehended in Johannesburg, South Africa that would help stock various achievements, challenges, and issues that arose since the 1992 Earth Summit. [1]

Between the timeline, 1972-92 over 200 regional, international agreements and conventions working for ecological protection and conservation had been well adopted. Nevertheless, the arguments that surfaced up were negotiated at the individual level and treated as separate entities with their lacking systems existing as communal, financial, and ecological standards.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals was approved back in September 2015 by 193 of its member states that came to be observed as Agenda 2030. The extensive framework includes 17 goals that concern ecological sustainability, social presence, financial development, peacetime, justice, good governance, and enterprise which were some of the key issues. Each goal forwarded targets that defined its focus and were 169 in number. The SDGs replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expired in 2015 and were applied over a period of 15 years. The experience helped underscore the status for achieving the same set of goals. Furthermore, sound indicators can help make the SDGs and their targets identified being instrumental in highlighting strong points and weaknesses.

Goals Of Sustainability

In 2012, the United Nations Conference focusing on Sustainable Development helped us discuss and develop precise goals that the world has the vision to work for which eventually grew out of MDGs that initially claimed their success that helped reduce poverty at the global level while acknowledging what else is left to be done. The SDGs in due course came up with a list consisting of 17 items (8) that were included midst other things:

  1. The ultimate end of poverty and hunger that was prevailing around

  2. Ensuring quality education at all spheres and basic healthcare facilities that pertain to water quality and better sanitation measures.

  3. Help in achieving gender equality

  4. Suitable growth while promoting better job opportunities and robust economies

  5. Sustainability that includes better access to land, sea, and air

Main Challenges To UNEP & UNEP Chemicals

The United Nations has, unlike mechanisms that help in better coordination taking place in the environment. Sustainable development has been expressed as the development that helps meet both the needs and demands of the present without compromising with our future generations. UNEP had never expressed the opportunity to help justify coordination which might seem important for encouraging mutual sustainable developmental agenda. Such a logical entity functioning within the UN umbrella looks after the environmental considerations that are included in the decision-making process addressed at relevant levels, and the UNEP Chemicals are some of the logical entities for chemicals and the role they offer in similar areas. [2]

India & France Joint Initiative To Help Boost Ties In Sustainable Development, Environment Protection

Encouraging efforts help strengthen cooperation in enhancing sustainable development and work towards the goal of protection at environmental levels. The Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar along with French Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili launched the scheme of Indo-French Year in which the above two countries had engaged in deliberate negotiations concerning the environment and its connected areas. The program would initiate on five main themes- protection of the environment, climatic changes, diversity, sustainable development at urban levels, and renewable resources like the energy sources. Javadekar made a special emphasis on the Indo-France alliance that works towards climatic changes. Pompili believed that “ India would encourage many countries in bringing positive insights in developmental issues.” From India’s side the same was coordinated by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and other Ministries, Departments, and Organisations recognising the concern. A joint screening committee was also constituted that would help finalize the suitable working of events for the Indo-French Year. Preceding the event that was earlier launched, a bilateral meeting took place between the French delegates and their Indian counterparts on issues concerning sudden changes in the climate, the vivid diversity that exists, blue economy, international alliance on solar issues, cooperation in the field of single-use of plastics, etc. He further stated that India aimed at a holistic development that would help strengthen the Indo-French cooperation with a focus on sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions that would witness a rise in the protection of the environment, and ensure greater visibility. [3]

[1] Dr. Paramjit S. Jaiswal, Dr. Nishtha Jaswal and Vibhuti Jaswal ( Faridabad Haryana: Allahabad Law Agency, 2017), 17.

[2] Sustainable Development ( ScienceDirect, 2014) accessed 25 June 2021.

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