Environmental Legislation: Asia

Authored by: Wanpen Wirojanagud

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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The growth in population, particularly in China and India, has accelerated economic development as well as urbanization. The rise in wealth and living conditions, however, does not come without a cost. Without the concept of sustainable development, Asia suffered from increased environmental pollution and significant deterioration of natural resources, diminishing the nations' natural capital. Economic growth and environment in most of the developing countries in Asia are not harmonized; growth is not balanced with the environmental context. Integration of environmental considerations into the development planning process will substantially ensure long-term positive economic development as well as safeguarding human well-being for present and future generations. Several countries in the Asian region have in fact incorporated the concept of sustainable development into their constitutions, legislation, or decrees. Legislation is an important element of the institutional framework for environmental management toward sustainable development. “To execute an environmental legislation, development and implementation of environmental laws ought to surmount in Asia.” To make environmental legislation effective in Asia, development and implementation of environmental laws are required. Development of environmental laws in many countries worldwide, including Asia, has been significantly influenced by the evolution of international environmental laws. A turning point was the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. To enshrine sustainable development, the Stockholm Conference was followed up by the United Nations on Environment and Development Earth Summit convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Considerable progress has been made in the establishment of environmental legislation, through the hierarchy of international and national statutes; however, often there is still a wide gap between law and practice that leads to weak enforcement. This entry attempts to present environmental legislation in Asia (mostly in East Asia and Southeast Asia), with a focus on three example issues: biodiversity conservation, electronic wastes management, and environmental assessment.

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