• Legis Scriptor

Rio Declaration: Brief Overview

Authored by Tanya Singh


The Rio Declaration on environment and development was blessed by the United Nations during the Conference on Environment and Development which was held in Rio de Janeiro on June 1992, and its aimed was to reassert the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on June 1972. The Declaration adopted a set of principles to guide the future development. These principles define the right of people for development, and their responsibilities to safeguard the common environment.

The United Nation Convention on Environment and Development [UNCED] is considered the only the way to have long term economic progress in relation to environmental protection, and this will only happen when nations establish a new and egalitarian global partnership involving the governments and their people and key sectors of societies. They must build international agreements that protect the rectitude of the global environment and the developmental system. Human society must assemble international agreements which may protect the global environment with superintend development.


To establish a new and egalitarian global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key societies and people, working towards international agreements that respect the interests and protect the rectitude of the global environment and developmental system.

Rio Declaration Principles

The Rio Declaration comprises of 27 Principles and submission of recommendations. Some of the important principles for protection of environment are as follows:

Principle 1:

Humans are considered as concerns for person for sustainable development, and they are entitled for healthy and productive life in consonance with nature.

Principle 2

The monarch has right to exploit their own resources for their own environmental and developmental policies, and these responsibility should ensure the activities within their jurisdiction or beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Principle 3

The development right must be fulfilled as an egalitarian and for environmental needs of present and future cohort.

Principle 4

In order to procure sustainable development, environmental protection should contribute a structural part for the development process and it should not be considered as isolation.

Principle 5

All States shall cooperate in the essential task of reducing the poverty for sustainable development, in order to decrease the incongruity in standards of living and better need of the people.

Principle 6

A special priority should be given to an unexpected situation of the developed or developing countries and International actions in the field of environment and development which address the interests and requirements of all countries for environmental protection.

Principle 7

To conserve, protect and restore the health and honesty of the Earth's ecosystem, States shall cooperate in development of a global partnership

Principle 8

In order to achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people and states should reduce and obliterate unsustainable patterns of production, consumption and to promote appropriate inquisitive policies.

Principle 9

To strengthen the endogenous development for sustainable development by improving or managing the scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge by envelopment, adaptation and transfer of technologies.

Principle 10

Environmental issues are best handled with the involvement of all concerned citizens, at the relevant stage and states shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available.

Principle 11

States shall enact effective or efficacious environmental legislation in all environmental standards, management and priorities which reflect all contexts to which they apply.

Principle 12

States shall promote a commiserating and open international economic system which would help to increase economic growth and sustainable development in all countries.

Principle 13

There should be a national law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and damage of each state and states shall also cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to evolve further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage.

Principle 14

In order to dispirit or to prevent the relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause severe environmental degradation or found any harmful to human health then state should beneficially cooperate.

Principle 15 and 16

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty then the precautionary approach should be applied by states in order to protect the environment, and National dominance should Endeavour to promote the impute of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments with due regard to the public interest and without wrap international trade and investment.

Principle 17

The proposed activities which are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment should be undertaken by an Environmental Impact Assessment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.

Principle 18 and 19

States shall immediately informs to other States of any natural disasters or other emergencies which are likely to produce harmful effects on the environment of those States and every effort shall be made by the international community to help other States which may be affected and shall provide relevant information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse transfrontier environmental effect and should be consult with those States which are at early stage or in good faith.

Principle 20

Women play a vital or important role in environmental management and development, as women have a full participation and it is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development.

Principle 21

The creativity, consummate and spirit of the youth of the world should be mobilized to hammer out a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and better future for all.

Principle 22

The Primordial people and their communities have a vital or indispensable responsibility in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices and states should recognize and support their identity, culture and interests have their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development.

Principle 23

Under despotism, supremacy and occupation the environment and natural resources of should be protected.

Principle 24

Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States need to provide protection for the environment in terms of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary under International Law.

Principle 25 and 26

States shall resolve all the disputes amiably and by appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Principle 27

States and Human Beings should cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in the attainment of the principles embodied in this Declaration and it is further development of international law in the meadow of sustainable development.


The appeasable progress in implementing certain principles has been attained, especially in past two years. Although such progress at the national level cannot be merely attributed or imputed to the incorporation of the principles in the Rio Declaration, their recognition in that context can serve as an inducement for action. Recent reviews and adaptations of pre-Conference national legislation are frequently based on and inspired by the concept of sustainable development. As a result of the differences among national legal systems, the techniques of implementation may fluctuate from State to State.

Many States incorporate principles as personify in the Rio Declaration into national legislation by means of either constitutional provisions or general provisions in swaps laws or edict. A different approach is to adopt provisions in national laws or regulations which reflect a peculiar principle in a substantive or in considerable manner without explicitly referring to it as a principle. Moreover, in an increasing number of cases national courts refer to a principle in the Rio Declaration, sometimes directly stating it.

Books Referred:

· Upadhyaya J.J.R” Environmental Law” 10th Edition

· Tiwari H.N “ The Environmental Law in India” 8th Edition

Website Referred: