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6 Asia Pac. J. Envtl. L. 1 (2001)

handle is hein.journals/apjel6 and id is 1 raw text is: Editorial

Elements of Good Environmental Governance*
Good environmental governance is an important pillar in the global partnership for
sustainable development. Environmental governance may be described as the
manner in    which   people exercise authority over nature. Natural resource
management was internationalised by the 1972 Stockholm Declaration,l echoing
the earlier internationalisation of human rights by the 1948 Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.2 Today, good environmental governance is increasingly
considered essential to development and natural resource management. The
international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) are requiring it as a condition to their assistance to any
country. The Asian Environmental Outlook 2000 prepared by the Asian
Development Bank also spotlights good environmental governance as essential to
sustainable development.
Good environmental governance is of particular importance to developing
countries. It is only when policies in such societies are democratic, participative,
transparent and founded on the rule of law and supported by a strong and
independent judiciary that donor countries will have the confidence to deal with
them. Dictatorial and corrupt regimes are not attractive for donors.
Good environmental governance thus emerges as an important condition for
developing countries to receive the support of the developed states. The 1972
Stockholm Declaration, the 1982 World Charter of Nature3 and the 1992 Rio
Declaration,4 each provided general principles for sustainable development. Good
* Keynote address presented at the Asia Pacific Forum on Environmental Governance and Sustainable
Development: Toward Partnership Building Among Parliamentarians, Civil Society Organisations, Private
Sector and Government, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan, 10-11 May 2001. The author
gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mr Roza Rahman, Advocate, in the preparation of this address.
1 1972 Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment (1972) 11 ILM 1416.
2 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III).
3 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 37/7 (1983) 22 ILM 455.
4 (1992) 31 ILM 874.


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