THE RIO DECLARATION

(ORIGINAL: ENGLISH)

REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON

ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT*

(Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992)

Annex I

RIO DECLARATION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, a/ and seeking to build upon it, With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system, Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home, Proclaims that:

 

Principle 1

Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.

They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.

 

Principle 2

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the

principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own

resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and

the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or

control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas

beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

 

Principle 3

The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet

developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations.

 

Principle 4

In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection

shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be

considered in isolation from it.

 

Principle 5

All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of

eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable

development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and

better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.

 

Principle 6

The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the

least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given

special priority. International actions in the field of environment and

development should also address the interests and needs of all countries.

 

Principle 7

States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve,

protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view

of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have

common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries

acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of

sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the

global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they

command.

 

Principle 8

To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all

people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production

and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.



Principle 9

States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for

sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges

of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development,

adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and

innovative technologies.

 

Principle 10

Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all

concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each

individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the

environment that is held by public authorities, including information on

hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity

to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and

encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely

available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings,

including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

 

Principle 11

States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental

standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the

environmental and developmental context to which they apply. Standards applied

by some countries may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social

cost to other countries, in particular developing countries.

 

Principle 12

States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international

economic system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable development

in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental degradation.

Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means

of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on

international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges

outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided.

Environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental

problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.

 

Principle 13

States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation

for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also

cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further

international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of

environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control

to areas beyond their jurisdiction.

 

Principle 14

States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the

relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that

cause severe environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human

health.

 

Principle 15

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be

widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are

threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty

shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent

environmental degradation.

 

Principle 16

National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of

environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account

the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of

pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting

international trade and investment.

 

Principle 17

Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be

undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant

adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent

national authority.

 

Principle 18

States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or

other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the

environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international

community to help States so afflicted.

 

Principle 19

States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant

information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a

significant adverse transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with

those States at an early stage and in good faith.

 

Principle 20

Women have a vital role in environmental management and development.

Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable

development.

 

Principle 21

The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be

mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable

development and ensure a better future for all.

 

Principle 22

Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have

a vital role in environmental management and development because of their

knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support

their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation

in the achievement of sustainable development.

 

Principle 23

The environment and natural resources of people under oppression,

domination and occupation shall be protected.

 

Principle 24

Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States

shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the

environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further

development, as necessary.

 

Principle 25

Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and

indivisible.

 

Principle 26

States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by

appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

 

Principle 27

States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of

partnership in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration

and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainable

development.

 

* * * * *

Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment,

Stockholm, 5-16 June 1972 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14

and corrigendum), chap. I.