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close this bookEnvironmental Change and International Law: New Challenges and Dimensions (UNU, 1992, 493 pages)
close this folderIssues in international environmental law
close this folder7. The legislation and implementation of international environmental law and the third world: the example of China
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentAn overview of international environmental legislation and its implementation
View the documentThe status of third-world states in international environmental legislation and its implementation
View the documentSome personal views and suggestions to encourage a more positive role of the third world in the legislation and implementation of international environmental law
View the documentNotes
View the documentAppendix: a case-study: China's positive attitude toward the adoption and implementation of international environmental legislation
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(introductory text...)

Lai Peng Cheng

On the spectrum of third-world ecosystems, colonial plunder is the primary cause of environmental degradation, which is the historical reason, and cultural and governmental negligence of the green peace mission caused by failing economic strength, excessive indebtedness, stretching of ecosystem capacity to sustain the pressure of population growth underlie the process of environmental erosion. In spite of these handicaps, third-world countries should take an active part in global environmental protection and maintain a sustainably healthy environmental order.

Leaving the above aside, the legislation and implementation of international environmental law have a tendency to neglect the social factors and the differing economic development status of states; but the objective reality is that any global issue is an inseparable and organic whole. This suggests that in respect of global environment control we should consider the objective conditions of those states that are undeveloped economically and technologically.

Consideration should be given to how to encourage all states, especially the vast number of third-world states, to protect our global environment, particularly in order to distribute fairly the burden of legislating and implementing international environmental law.

The third world refers to those countries developing economically that are newly independent and not aligned politically. These are mainly found in Asia (except Japan), Africa. and Latin America.