Environmental Law Essays

2227 Words Mar 7th, 2009 9 Pages
1. To what extent have the principles of environmental law been incorporated in the Environmental Protection Act 2000

20TH MARCH, 2004.


The environment is made up of the physical, biological and human elements. These three are different facets of one and the same environment. Not only in recent years, the human environment has begun to impinge and burden the physical and biological environment. It is only in recent years that the public has been made aware of the seriousness of the matter. This awareness, has, not only led to changes in local legislation, but also to changes in the way the problem is approached. It is useless trying to solve environmental problems on a national basis as the
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Sovereignty over natural resources and the environment in general

In modern international law, permanent sovereignty over natural resources has come to entail duties as well as rights. There has been an evolution of permanent sovereignty from a political claim to a principle of international law. This principle led to debates on people’s rights, nationalization, and environmental conservation. The right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be exercised in the interest of their national development and of the well-being of the people of the State concerned.
The promotion of this principle was the natural manifestation of the ever-present fear of the developing countries, that the Western World would continue exploiting their natural resources without conceding them a just and equitable share. This principle[2] was implemented in our law and is found in both sections 3 and 4[3]. The principle states that the environment is a res communis and thus should be enjoyed by all. The government as the bonus pater familias is entrusted with the protection of this resource. Section 3 is the best example of this principle, stating:

“It shall be the duty of everyone together with the government to protect the environment and to assist in the taking of preventive and remedial measures to protect the environment and manage natural resources in a sustainable manner[4].”

The polluter-pays principle
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