10 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1983)

handle is hein.journals/envpola10 and id is 1 raw text is: 





               BDZITUlAL



  During  1982 the journal gave much emphasis to the work of the UN and
  its many specialized agencies - and particularly to UNEP. This could be
  interpreted by our readers as showing imbalance - and perhaps it is, in-
deed,  imbalance -  but it should not be regarded as being a shift in
editorial policy. The reason being that environmental activities in the UN
family played a superior role - not only because UNCLOS was finalized
and  10 Years After Stockholm spotlighted environmental problems but
especially due to the breakthrough made by environmental law at the inter-
national level. For it must be realized that it was certainly a late comer
to the international scene, also demonstrated by the fact that for the first
time a comprehensive soft law text - the World Charter For Nature - was
adopted  and solemnly proclaimed by the General Assembly (see page
30). We shall report in detail next time.
   On the other hand, the journal has been very critical on many occasions
of the UN and several of its subsidiary bodies and we felt obliged to keep
our readers informed of these recent positive developments. Changes have
only been achieved because pressure has been brought to bear from the en-
vironmental lobby and future progress can only be assured if more people
are informed of what is going on. For the information gap, even among
those concerned, is still, unfortunately, a broad valley.
  Four  important international conferences which took place at the end of
last year were too late to be included in this issue: The Third World Con-
gress on National Parks  (Bali, 11-21 October), RAMSAR (Paris,   2-3
December),  UNCLOS (Jamaica, 6-10 December) and the Ozone Layer
Conference  (Geneva,  10-17 December). Reports,  and where  relevant,
recommendations  of these meetings, will be covered in the next issue of the
journal.
  In  contrast, this issue deals mostly with national policy. One such
development -  with all its international repercussions - not included due
to deadline, is the decision taken at the beginning of November by the
Japanese government  to file a formal complaint against the International
Whaling  Commission's decision to end commercial whaling in three years.
It was hoped that Japan could be pressured into switching its stance as it
was  likely that other opponents of the ban, including the Soviet Union,
Peru and Norway,  might fall into line. (Although it is estimated that ap-
proximately 50,000 Japanese are dependent on  the whaling industry, a
public opinion survey, conducted by the independent Nippon Research
Centre, found that 47% of the population were in favour of the Commis-
sion's ban). As expected, on the same day as the Japanese decision, the
Norwegian  government announced  that it would continue whaling.
  It will be interesting to see if the US will abide by its promise to use its
legislation to prohibit the Japanese from fishing in coastal waters up to 200
miles from the US shoreline - where Japan catches more than 1.1 million
tons of fish yearly. An interesting parallel has just occured as the Cana-
dians warned the EEC  (with success) that they would cut fishing rights if
the Community  should ban baby seal imports (see also page 30). 0
                                                    7 December  1982


(Manuscript deadline 30 October)

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