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Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Reprinted in: Global Tomorrow Coalition Sustainable Development Tool Kit.

Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home, the nations meeting at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro adopted a set of principles to guide future development. These principles define the rights of people to development, and their responsibilities to safeguard the common global environment. To a large extent, they build on ideas from the Stockholm eclaration at the !"#$ %nited &ations 'onference on the (uman Environment. The Rio eclaration states that the only )ay to achieve long*term economic progress is to link it )ith environmental protection. This )ill only happen if nations establish a ne) and e+uitable global partnership involving governments, their people, and key sectors of societies. They must build international agreements that protect the integrity of the global environment and the development system. The Rio eclaration includes the follo)ing principles, o -eople are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony )ith nature. o evelopment today must not undermine the development and environment needs of present and future generations. o &ations have the sovereign right to exploit their o)n resources, but )ithout causing environmental damage beyond their borders. o &ations shall develop international la)s to provide compensation for damage that activities under their control cause to areas beyond their borders. o &ations shall use the precautionary approach to protect the environment. .here there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, scientific uncertainty shall not be used to postpone cost*effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. o /n order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process, and cannot be considered in isolation from it. o Eradicating poverty and reducing disparities in living standards in different parts of the )orld are essential to achieve sustainable development and meet the needs of the ma0ority of people. o &ations shall cooperate to conserve, protect, and restore the health and integrity of the Earth1s ecosystem. The developed countries ackno)ledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in vie) of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.

o &ations should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and promote appropriate demographic policies. o Environmental issues are best handled )ith the participation of all concerned citizens. &ations shall facilitate and encourage public a)areness and participation by making environmental information )idely available. o &ations shall enact effective environmental la)s, and develop national la) regarding liability for the victims of pollution and other environmental impact of proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact. o &ations should cooperate to promote an open international economic system that )ill lead to economic gro)th and sustainable development in all countries. Environmental policies should not be used as an un0ustifiable means of restricting international trade. o The polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution. o &ations shall )arn one another of natural disasters or activities that may have harmful transboundary impacts. o Sustainable development re+uires better scientific understanding of the shared global problems. &ations should exchange kno)ledge and innovative technologies to achieve the goal of sustainability. o The full participation of )omen is essential to achieve sustainable development. The creativity, ideals, and courage of youth and the kno)ledge of indigenous peoples are needed, too. &ations should recognize and support the identity, culture, and interests of indigenous peoples. o .arfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development, and nations shall respect international la)s protecting the environment in times of armed conflict, and shall cooperate in their further establishment. o -eace, development, and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible.