relationships between six of the nations of Europe.\ But in 1972 the
UN Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm, which has received
a great deal of attention elsewhere in this book, created a stir that motivated the
European Heads of State and Government to draft a plan for Community action
conflicts over depleted or scarce resources or consequent to incidents of
Religious texts may motivate believers in favor of environmental pro-
tection. In Judeo-Christian religious traditions, the “dominion” given
humans over other living beings in the first of the Creation
uses biological systems, living organisms,
or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific
use.”1 A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one “in which the genetic
material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating
and/or natural recombination
is not the owner, but the partner, or at the
most a trustee for the others. Since the land is held in trust for the
unborn as well as for the living, and since it represents his part-
nership in the common life of generations, he will not lightly take
it upon himself to dispose of it.
having a moral
obligation of stewardship or trusteeship towards nature that implies
restraint in the use of and respect for all life. Certain ethicists and activists
go further and contend that living creatures should not be exploited
except where unavoidable to fulfill basic human needs.
claims and accept the
wastes without always being concerned with the dangers they pose.
A second reason that could motivatea producer to export waste is lower
disposal costs, even if the operation conforms to the law. The "importing"
country could offer inexpensive possibilities of storage, for example
. It declared that the environment is not an
abstraction but represents the living space, the quality of life and the very
health of human beings. As a consequence, the Court found that states
have the obligation to respect and protect the natural environment. In this
regard, the Court recognized the
The global commons
comprise territory outside the jurisdiction of any state, such as Antarctica, the
atmosphere, the oceans, and outer space.
12 International Environmental Law
It is possible that the concept of a global commons resource could also
include marine life or wildlife facing
. Fish stocks, at least those that are commercially
exploited and are located for part or all of their life cycle outside a national juris-
diction, are over exploited everywhere, largely due to overfi shing, some author-
ized and some not, despite the signifi cant expenditures incurred to address this
ern era was the 1940 Western Hemisphere Conservation Convention
(see § 8.1.2), followed by the 1968 OAU African Convention (see § 126.96.36.199).
One of the most significant ones is the 1979 Conservation of European Wild-
life and Natural Habitats (Berne Convention),118 which has fostered a host