UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMME AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Author: Raushni Ranjan Pradhan, IV year of B.A.,LL.B(Hons.) From law college dehradun.
Co-author: Raunak Ranjan Pradhan, IV year of B.A.,LL.B(Hons.) From law college dehradun.
‘The Environment is everything that isn’t me. -Einstein
Environment is a stringent word to define. But normally it relates to surroundings which exists and replenished. Environment is a pearl and ambrosia for everyone because everything is dependent and constituted on it. But now a days Environment is facing hurdles because of mounting of anthropogenic nature of work and due to this environment is degrading and debilitating. Prompt environmental alteration caused by the proliferation of human activity decisively debilitated and degraded the environment and have led everybody observing that depredation of environment can bring cadaverous consequences in the future. The insidious effects of polluted water supplies and harbinger of climate action clamor that there should be a stringent law on the environment. International Environmental law obligates and connotes protection of environment, flora and fauna including climate change, ozone layer depletion, extinction of wildlife etc. The concern for environment protection has not only been upsurged for the law, but it is also demonstrated with human rights and it is the basic right of every individual to live in invigorating environment with immaculate air consisting in salubrious place. There are plethora of laws in every country regarding protection of environment but International Environmental law through treaty like United Nations Environment Program safeguards the environment at gargantuan level by framing policies, conferences etc. and set up sustainable development goals. The objective of International environmental law runs on the principle of achieving sustainable developmental goals. This law is thus sophisticated both for addressing particular environment conundrums and to give succor for long-lasting environmental protection world at large. The multilateral environmental agreement is the subdivision of international convention by virtue of Article 38 of International court of justice, which deals the matter relating to environment. The United Nations Environment Program[UNEP] is one of the zenith environmental authority in the United Nations system which sets up global propaganda to dissuade the environmental conundrums and predicaments. The perplex production and consumption practices is pernicious and would be moribund for upcoming future, so to reduce these uncertainties a effervescent UNEP has been initiated. And it is the UNEP’s prerogative to fix the rule relating to environment. The deterioration of environment due to unjust use of natural resources, industrialisation, urbanisation, deforestation , desertification, use of pesticides and above all green House gas emissions have posed a major threat to the very existence of mankind. Also because of the presence of poverty, poor housing and sanitation facilities, malnutrition , absence of safe drinking water etc. Which characterise the living standard of under – developed and developing countries, have compelled the mankind to devise means for the protection of environment and to ensure sustainable development.
The cumulative effect in pollution levels and harbinger of climate change which would be insurmountable in the future prompted the international leadership to ponder about laws for environment issues. And the vicissitudes of environment concerns can be emancipated through law only.
These burning issues were dealt at the United Nations conference in 1972 on the subject matter of Human Environment. The conference also known as Stockholm conference which led to adoption of the Stockholm Declaration.
The conference also aimed in the formation of a chronological management body for these above mentioned concerns, which was later known as United Nations Environment Program.
HISTORY OF UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME
The need for UNEP came into existence when there was upsurge in the pollution. The advent of United Nations Environment Program was initiated in 1972 to deal with the subject matter of environmental processes inside the UN system. The UNEP demonstrates to promote cooperation on environmental concerns and saves environment from making it lackluster. It being sanguine and encourages the worldwide scientific society to regulate plethora of policies. The headquarters of UNEP are situated in Nairobi, Kenya. It insist to encourage the sustainable use of natural resources. UNEP was established by Maurice Strong(first director) and is the cooperating body for the United Nations’ environmental activities. Its propaganda is to promote coherent implementation of the environmental problem. The level of pollution was not plummeting and it was showing standoffish behavior then zenith authorities took initiative to introduce UNEP . It catapulted the pollution and reduces the paranoia to avoid beleaguered situation. It has worked closely with industry in gestation period of environmental management strategies. The headquartered of United Nations Environment Programme is in Nairobi, Kenya.
OBJECTIVES OF UNEP
There are multifarious objectives of UNEP which inculcates for saving and securing the environment. It motivates the enabling countries and people to ameliorate the quality of life without substituting the future generations. The major focuses of UNEP are-
CLIMATE CHANGE- It is one of the beleaguered problem which is showing cadaverous consequences on the environment. UNEP envisage the ability of countries to vanquish the detrimental climate change by providing leadership in adaptation, ecofriendly machines, mitigation, technology and finance. UNEP is focusing to ameliorate the understanding of climate science, facilitating the burgeoning of renewable resource and disseminate public awareness. extinct of species, ecosystem management, detrimental disasters and its havoc, cadaverous inundation etc.
DELETERIOUS SUBSTANCES- UNEP clamor to reduce the consequence of pernicious substances and detrimental waste related to environment and human beings. To resolve this colossal issue UNEP has taken initiative to launch negotiations for a global agreement on mercury to reduce threat and uncertainties to human health and the environment. Pollution is one of the biggest issue which is deteriorating the environment promptly and to reduce the emissions UNEP has launch plethora of program. All these gargantuan problems are pernicious to the environment and can create moribund situation. The initiative of UNEP is to make the environment immaculate and salubrious. To ensure sustainable development is also one of the goals of the UNEP.
GOVERNANCE TOWARDS ENVIRONMENT- A spate of attack on environment and upsurge in the pollution level have made the expertise to ponder on issues related to environment. To achieve synchronization in sustainable development and environment, UNEP stipulates plethora of laws, policies and program etc. Development is a continuous process but pollution is inevitable. The cumulative effect in development has exacerbated the environment in beleaguered situation and to reduce this environmental uncertainties UNEP established the development planning.
OPTIMUM UTILIZATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES- Albeit, Resources are replenished in the nature and UNEP ensures that there should be optimum utilization of natural resources to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. The population of all the countries are promptly upsurging which is showing cumulative effect in cutting of trees and due to that environment is getting insidious effect. Ab-initio the problem of environment was insurmountable but later on UNEP took several steps to reduce the environmental predicaments . The emancipation proclamation made by UNEP regarding pollution, threat etc. gave positive result.
FUNCTIONS OF THE UNEP
The main prerogative of the UN Environment is to deal with every environmental conundrums and pernicious effect on the environment. Albeit, it has plethora sub- function for environmental safety and human protection.
The regime of UNEP took resolution to alter international environmental conventions and related issues. It stipulates that UNEP will deal with the galore environmental conventions.
Some of the very important and germane conventions include Vienna convention, Stockholm conference, Tehran convention, Rotterdam convention, United Nations convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal Protocol.
The efficacious organization gives effervescent power and encourages ecological science and associated information.
It takes and employs those projects which are pertinent for environment and helps in the gestation period of ecosystem.
It prepares guidelines on those transnational trade which is detrimental and produces venomous chemicals which is effecting world at large.
The UNEP pay obeisance to individuals and countries who does not show standoffish behavior towards environment and work for environmental concerns.
UNITED NATIONS EFFORTS TOWARDS PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT
The necessity for the protection of human environment remains one of the important global objective in contemporary scenario . The protection of environment has been recognised as the common concern of all the civilised states. As a consequence the protection of environment through concerted and collective global efforts constitutes one of the major areas of activity in the contemporary international relations. The concept of preservation of the environment implicate an attempt to avert pollution, particulars global pollution or environment deterioration. It intends to change the behaviour of nation- State by making them attentive towards significant environmental concerns. The Indian Constitution specially under part lVA ( Article 51A – Fundamental Duties) casts a duty on every citizen to protect and improve the environment including the forests, lakes, rivers and to have compassion for living creatures. The Constitution of India under part IV ( Article 48A – Directive Principles of State Policies) stipulates that the state shall endeavors to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
THE COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE
The Copenhagen conference on climate change ended on December 19, 2009. It accomplish an improvised agreement – the Copenhagen Accord. It was lucrative in making the concerted countries accept a framework for reducing the global warming pollution. The Copenhagen Accord was prepared by 28 countries and acknowledged by 188 countries. Only five countries Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Sudan refused to accept it. Under this Accord all the Nations were to prepare action plans for contraction in carbon emissions. The Accord stated the goal of limiting the global temperature increasing from carbon emissions to less than 2 degree Celsius over pre – industrial levels. It created a “ Fast Start Fund” for providing $30 billion between 2010- 2012 for assistance to developing countries. It was also agreed to mobilise $ 100 billion a year to address the needs to developing countries. The developed countries agreed to contribute to ' Fast Start Fund' as Japan pledged $ 15 billion, Europe 10.5 billion and US $ 1 billion. The Copenhagen Accord was a step ahead of Kyoto Protocol in so far as it involved an agreement of developing countries like Brazil, China, India, and South Africa to undertake emission reduction.
U.N CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE, PARIS
Under the auspices of U.N a climate change conference was convened at Paris from 30 November to 12 December,2015 . The conference reached to a historical agreement ratified by 196 member states. Under this agreement it was decided to keep the global temperature below 2 degree Celsius by reducing emissions of green House Gases. In this direction the developed countries had to provide $ 100 billion to the developing countries. However international law has been that no state should act in a manner or permit the use of its territory in a way which can be in furious to other states. This rule implies that every nation – state must not act in a way as can cause environmental pollution or degradation. Hence, it is well within the scope of International law to enact rules for the protection of environment and particularly to contain environmental problems like global warming and climate change. In fact, it was in 1960 that the international community became conscious of the need to adopt a convention on human environment.
STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE ON HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
The U.N Convention on Human Environment was held at Stockholm from june 5 to june 19 ,1972. It adopted a Declaration on Human environment on the pattern of Universal Declaration Of Human Rights (UDHR) . Several important areas were demarcated to protect human environment. The Declaration on the Human Environment was made by the member states of U.N . The first part of the declaration deals with the challenges to the environment due to developmental activities and increasing population. The second part contains 26 Principles which reflect fundamental global responsibility of states regarding preservation of environment and pollution control.
KYOTO PROTOCOL ( DECEMBER, 1997)
To protect the earth From increasing temperature due to emission of Green House Gases ( CO2, Nitrogen, CH4 etc) a world Environment Conference or Green House Conference was convened at Kyoto (Japan) . Kyoto Protocol resolved to bring Down the CO2 these gases are considered to be responsible for climate change. It was also resolved that countries emitting more than 55% CO2 in the atmosphere had to reduce the some upto 5% between 2008 to 2012. The US President George Bush refused the Kyoto Protocol despite US being the largest polluter ( about 36% of the total CO2 emission). Europe and Japan agreed to follow the Protocol. An action plan was devised for the protection of environment. It aimed to identify environmental problems recommend measures to prevent environmental degradation and support measures such as education training and public information. It also passed resolutions regarding institutional and financial arrangements. It passed a resolution on World Environment Day 5 June to be Celebrated every year. A dynamic resolution for the Prevention of future nuclear tests. The main aim was also adopted regarding holding of future conference on environment. At length it was resolved to refer the national governments the recommendations for action at the national level. Stockholm Conference resulted into the establishment of United Nation Environment Programme ( U.N.E.P). The conference initiated a global environment protection movement.
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE MEET, 1997
In January, 1997 a three day meet on Global Climate Change was organised by the development Alternatives an NGO under the auspices of U.N at New Delhi. Earth Submit at Reo De Zenero( 1993) had already initiated a step towards the development of environmental jurisprudence. This Conference explored the possibility of business collaboration between developing and developed countries for solving the problems of poverty, environment and resourcement to contain climate change. It also discussed the ways and means for checking the emission of Green House Gases. India expressed reservations because of its developmental concerns. U.S to had certain reservations. Paris Summit was only a partial success some of the demands of India regarding sustainable development have been accommodated in the proposal.
The word “sustainable development “ was first time coined at the time of Cocoyoc Declaration on Environment and Development in the 1970s. sustainable development means to make world at better place for everyone without destroying the possibilities for next generation . If you wonder something is sustainable you can ask yourself can we do this over and over again forever. Sustainable development means that we need to focus on three goals;
. Social Progress
. Economic Developments
. Climate Environment
We have to take care of Planets we have many natural ecosystems that must been imbalanced . Sustainable development is development where we needs the need of present without compromising the abilities of future generations needs. The significant aim of sustainable development is to ensure that present generation should leave stock of “ Quality Of Life “ for the generations, which is no less than what we have inherited. Sustainable Development refer to that development should take place without damaging the environment. The conception of sustainable development was described by the 1987 Bruntland Commission report as “ development that meets the need of the present generations without compromising the capability of unborn generations meet their requirements. “. International concern for environment protection and sustainable development is comparatively of recent origin. The conference at U.N on Environment and Development at Stockholm in 1972 is considered to be the Magna Carta of environment protection and sustainable development. In 2002 the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg , South Africa, to take stock of achievements, challenges and new issues arising since the 1992 Earth Summit. It was an “ perpetration” Summit designed to turn the pretensions pledges and commitments of Agenda 21 into concrete palpable conduct. “ CHIPKO" movement and “APPIKO" movement in India (Karnataka) for saving the timbers for exploitation are the exemplifications of people’s responses for the protection of environment by their involvement. The 17 goals on sustainable development that United Nations held at conference we need to meet this goals by 2030. Many nations has adapted different methods so they can meet the demand of sustainable development by 2030. Nowadays world is facing many crisis and for this reason only the position of environment is deteriorating day by day. To sustain in this world the first and most important thing is to protect environment. The concept of sustainable development contains the precautionary principle, the polluters pay principle, the doctrine of public trust.
UNITED NATIONS DIFFICULTIES REGARDING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
The United Nations Environment Programme ( UNEP) is one of the leading global authority regarding environment protection. The main agenda of this authority was to protect environment and emissions in the globe. Sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The UNEP has hosted several environment conventions, secretariats and inter – agency coordinating bodies. UN Environment is led by Executive Director. The problem United Nations is facing that countries are not cooperating to resolve the dispute regarding environment. Although the major countries are focusing on the national interest of their country. The amalgamation of countries is mandate to protect environment in globe. It is very high time for all the countries to come together and focus on the protection of environment. In 1988 the World Meteorological Organization to establish the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC), a leading authority on the science of climate change and options for adaptation and mitigation. The environment fund is our core source of flexible funds, provided by our member states. Netherlands is the largest contributor amongst the member states. The United Nations Environment Programme is largest body on environment programme with a universal membership of all 193 Member states.The governing body of United Nations Environment Programme is United Nations Environment Assembly. The major problem is Radical ecologist blame the Capitalist ideology and Capitalist system which focusses on profit maximisation and usually have anti- ecological tendencies. The problem also arise regarding environment between developed and developing countries. States are not reading to agree on particular targets regarding environment protection.
Environment is the nature and surroundings in which all plants, animals and humans life is operate. Our atmosphere is totally dependent on environment. Every living and non – living thing is related to environment. We need to protect our environment sustainability from any pollutions. This is because the polluted environment will affect the well – being of society and the country. We should be aware that this pollution can be one of major issues for environmental deteriorating conditions. United Nations Environment Programme is one of the leading authority regarding environment protection. United Nations has issued the guidelines relating to environment that major members states need to follow. Cooperation is one of the criteria where we can protect our environment, countries need to come together and agree on the conventions that the United Nations had made for protection of environment. The technological advances can solve the problem of environment by creating a variety of environmentally friendly system and equipment. Saving environment is a custom that we can include in our day to day live for maintaining the quality of life worldwide. In ancient time in vedas specially in atharveda it was mentioned people use to protect the environment as they use to protect themselves. The concept of protecting environment is not new from last how many years the this concept is working to protect natural resources. Due to the inadequacy of natural resources various environment dissenter appeal to save these resources. The Department of Environment was established in India in 1980 , which later on became the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1985. There are many important legislations that has been made for the protection of environment and which supported by United Nations are National Green Tribunal Act , 2010, The Air Prevention and control of Pollution Act, 1981, The Water Prevention and control Of Pollution Act, 1974. The deterioration conditions of environment can be improved by implementing the important legislations that has been made for the protection of environment.