ICEL and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have a long and fruitful relationship of cooperation. When ICEL was launched at the 10th IUCN General Assembly in New Delhi in 1969, it became the first non-governmental organization of jurists dedicated to establishing and advancing laws for environmental protection, and began a long standing collaboration within IUCN towards achieving this purpose. Below, two examples of the achievements generated by this cooperation are mentioned.

The U.N. World Charter for Nature

The World Charter for Nature was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on October 28, 1982. It proclaims five “principles of conservation by which all human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged.”

  1. Nature shall be respected and its essential processes shall not be impaired.
  2. The genetic viability on the earth shall not be compromised; the population levels of all life forms, wild and domesticated, must be at least sufficient for their survival, and to this end necessary habitats shall be safeguarded.
  3. All areas of the earth, both land and sea, shall be subject to these principles of conservation; special protection shall be given to unique areas, to representative samples of all the different types of ecosystems and to the habitats of rare or endangered species.
  4. Ecosystems and organisms, as well as the land, marine and atmospheric resources that are utilized by man, shall be managed to achieve and maintain optimum sustainable productivity, but not in such a way as to endanger the integrity of those other ecosystems or species with which they coexist.
  5. Nature shall be secured against degradation caused by warfare or other hostile activities

Consult the UN document adopting the U.N. World Charter for Nature

To know more, consult the IUCN Publication: The World Charter for Nature: a background paper by Burhenne, Wolfgang E. and Irwin, William A.

The Draft ICEL/IUCN Covenant on Environment and Development

The Draft International Covenant on Environment is an ongoing contribution of the International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL) and the IUCN Environmental Law Programme (IUCN ELP) to provide a framework for implementing sustainability at all levels of society following the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference, and subsequent adoption of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Draft International Covenant is a blueprint for an international framework (or umbrella) agreement consolidating and developing existing legal principles related to environment and development. Over the 20 years since the first edition was prepared by leading experts from all regions of the globe, the 5th Edition continues the tradition as a “living document” having undergone four revisions to ensure that it is up-to-date with the newest developments in the field of public international law.

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