Sustainable Development:

“Development meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


“The genetic variability on the earth shall not be compromised; the population levels of all life forms must be at least sufficient for their survival, and to this end necessary habitats shall be safeguarded.”

Precautionary Principle:

“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.”

Burden of Proof:

“Activities which are likely to pose a significant risk to nature shall be preceded by an exhaustive examination; their proponents shall demonstrate that expected benefits outweigh potential damage to nature, and where potential adverse effects are not fully understood, the activities should not proceed.”

Polluter Pays:

“Operators of potentially risky activities who cause environmental damage shall be held responsible for restoring the damage caused, or made to pay for the restoration.”


Our Common Future, Bruntland Commission, 1987

The World Charter for Nature, I. General Principles, II

The United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992, Principle 15

* The World’s Charter for Nature, I. General Principles, 11 (b)

Making the Polluter Pay, European COmmission press statement, Brussells, 23 January 2002