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ECO-notes

Campaign for an international Court of the Environment

Berlin - "We want to set up a guarantee that human rights can be sustained on the basis of an intact environment» is how Alfred Rest, expert in international law, from Cologne (Germany) described the goals of the Campaign to establish an international Court of the Environment, started by various German and international organizations on April 2 on the occasion of the climate summit in Berlin.

In order to guarantee human rights based on an intact environment, the campaign targets a Court of the Environment, to be institutionalized at the International Court in The Hague, which can be addressed not only by countries but also by private individuals and NGOs.

The launching of the campaign took the form of a "tribunal» against those responsible for the global energy and environmental disasters. The environmental protection organization Global 2000, for example, had initiated proceedings against the governments of the USA and various European countries and against several atomic energy utilities. The accusation was put forward that, by constructing atomic power stations in Eastern Europe the accused were consciously jeopardizing the lives, health and property of the peoples of Europe.

Such "tribunals" are to be a regular event accompanying all international governmental conferences until the goal of establishing an Court of the Environment has been achieved. A working group was formed in Berlin which includes three well known legal personalities: Alfred Rest, expert in international law, Cologne, Hans Jonkmann of the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague and Amadeo Postiglione,Judge at Italy's Supreme Court.

The idea of setting up an International Court of the Environment originates from Amadeo Postiglione. It was on his initiative that the International Court of the Environment Foundation ICEF was established in Rome in 1992. The Foundation now has committees in more than 15 countries, including Argentina, Germany, France, Greece, Japan and the USA.

Further Information from International Court of the Environment Foundation ICEF

The Secretariat

Palazzo di Guistizia

Piazza Cavour I

- 00193 Rome (Italy)

Phone: + 39 6 6868597

+ 39 6 6872734

Fax: + 39 668300783

+ 39 6 6874170

Environmental education: "Magic Eye Campaign" in Thailand

Bangkok-"A! A! Don't throw anything away. The magic eye will see it!" This command is to be read on the metropolitan buses in Thailand's capital city Bangkok.


FIGURE

The "Magic Eye Campaign" of the Thai Environmental and Community Development Association, which is putting a lot into advertising, is one of many campaigns promoting environmental awareness in Thailand and other south-east Asian countries.

The campaign also includes traveling exhibitions that are shown in villages. In Thai television a puppet theatre family puts across environmental and health problems in traditional shadow plays. As well as various other nature-protection groups, Buddhist monks are involved in environmental protection, achieving their greatest success in rural districts. For example, a monk prevented a local woodland from being cut down in a northern Thailand village by hanging trees with the yellow robes monks wear and warning "Anyone who lays hand on these trees is, figuratively speaking, laying hand on a monk. "

Thailand and other countries of the ESCAP region (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) agreed on a joint action plan for environmental education as long ago as 1985. The key idea was recognizing that the population will only develop environmental awareness if it is communicated by native experts. Today's fifteen education centres in eleven Asian countries are coordinated by Chula longkorn University in Bangkok. The top address for environmental studies is the Asian Institute for Technology (AIT) in Bangkok.

Further information: Asian Institute for Technology (ANT) PO Box 2754 Bangkok 10501 Thailand

"Environmental News" ESCAP, UN Building Rajadamnem Avenue Bangkok 10200 Thailand

700,000 signatures for environmental Marshall Plan

Berlin-Some 700,000 German citizens have signed a petition to implement an "ecological Marshall Plan" (see "gate" 2/94, p. 5 I). The initiators of the Marshall Plan project presented the petition to Federal Minister for the Environment Angela Merkel at the Climate Conference in Berlin at the beginning of April.

They called upon environmental politicians tó adopt the CO2 goal of "minus 20 percent by 2005» to promote renewable energy much more strongly, and to introduce an airport tax of five pfennigs per passenger flight hour. According to the journalist Franz Alt, who initiated the campaign together with four politicians, this tax alone would raise 100 billion marks a year world-wide and make it possible to launch an environmental Marshal Plan