12 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1984)

handle is hein.journals/envpola12 and id is 1 raw text is: 










   1984 is upon us, and while other branches of society are busily compar-
 ing what Orwell said with today's reality, we are unable to do so, as the
 environment is one of the categories he omitted.
 Strangely  enough, the concept of environment as such, is not mentioned
 by Orwell-if one excludes the prediction of the urbanization of the popula-
 tion, which he has seen from  a purely sociological point of view -,
 although globally seen, environmental degradation and resource over-
 exploitation is that feature of society which has moved perhaps fastest in
 the past 35 years.
   So, although he ignored us, we pay tribute to him on the cover, convinc-
ed that this was only an omission! In any case, we always shared his fear.
  But  in 1984, some effort is again being made to counteract negative
developments, lfor in addition to the regular conferences, this year will
bring a spate of meetings dealing particularly with environmental matters.
   Two  UNEP   meeting have recently taken place - both as part of the
follow-up  to the Montevideo law plan  in 1982 (see vol. 8, No. 1). In
general, one can say that the second meeting (concerning the exchange of
information on potentially harmful chemicals, in particular pesticides, in
international trade) did not progress in the way that the Governing Coun-
cil had expected. Some participants questioned what potentially harmful
chemicals were, and  experts from several states wanted even to exclude
pesticides from the exchange system - but how  can one draw a line be-
tween pesticides and chemicals? No final decision was taken, but at least an
interim information scheme was agreed upon, for a trial period. The out-
come  of the meeting on the environmentally sound management of hazar-
dous  waste had, fortunately, a more positive result. We shall report in
detail on both discussions in the next issue.
   Prep-Com   (Law of the Sea) is meeting at present. Two IMO  con-
ferences are scheduled for the near future (see also page 5), and the UNEP
Governing  Council will meet in May. In June, the ESCAP Expert Group
Meeting  on the integration of environment into development - legislative
and administrative aspects - will be held in Tokyo, to be followed by the
OECD   conference in Paris on Environment and Economics. On 24th of the
same  month, the Federal Republic of Germany  has called a special con-
ference on long-range air pollution (see vol. 11 No. 4, page 116). Also
scheduled for the Summer, is a meeting of the preparatory committee for
the review conference to the convention on the prohibition of military or
any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques.
   The North Sea Conference  is planned for the end of October and two
conferences initiated by UNEP will take place in November - the world
industry  conference on  environmental  management,   and  the  inter-
parliamentary  conference on   the environment.  The  IUCN General
Assembly  is also scheduled for the same month.
  1984  the year of the environment -  or just another year of confer-
ences?                                                             O


March 1984

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