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International Environmental Law: Home

This guide helps researchers to begin researching various sources of international environmental law.

Introduction

     This research guide is on international environmental law research. International environmental law involves a wide variety of subject areas such as atmosphere and outer space, ocean and freshwater resources, biological resources, hazardous substances and activities as well as legal concepts such as common concern and heritage, precautionary principle, sustainable development, equity, environmental rights, public participation, and legitimacy. Actors of international environmental law include states, inter-governmental organizations, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, business entities, indigenous people, and individuals.

     Since the subjects of the international environmental law are too broad to be dealt at one time, I will focus more on sustainable development issue, emphasized by Agenda 21 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and will ask how international environmental law supports and reaches sustainable development in a fair and consistent way throughout the nations. Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need.

     This guide is intended both for law students, scholars, and practitioners seeking information about international environmental law, particularly sustainable development. This guide is also designed to find the current and historical texts of international instruments and documents, customary international law, international cases, and secondary sources such as treatises and journal articles. Relating to national environmental law research, please, refer to my other research guide on foreign law in Libguides.

Comprehensive Research Platforms

ECOLEX. The (free) ECOLEX database is a joint initiative of the UN Environment Program, the UN Food and Agriculture  Organization and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, contains treaties, soft-law and other non-binding policy and technical guidance documents, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature.

UN LEAP: UNEP’s Law and Environment Assistance Platform (UNEP-LEAP) is the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme's digital backbone. Includes:

Key Search Terms

atmosphere and outer space, ocean and freshwater resources, biological resources, hazardous substances and activities, common concern and heritage, health, precautionary principle, sustainable development, equity, environmental rights, public participation, legitimacy, armed conflicts, biological diversity, biotechnology, consumer patterns, bridging data gap, deforestation, demographic dynamics and sustainability, desertification, ecosystem protection, energy, environmental awareness, environmental governance, environmental problems, sound technology, financial resources and mechanisms, financing for development, sustainable human settlements, toxic chemicals, United Nations, Agenda 21, UN General Assembly reports, World Summit on Sustainable Development Implementation Plan, WSSD, Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, RIO +20, UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Millennium Report, We the Peoples: The Role of the united Nations in the Twenty-First Century, UNGA Report 54/2000, Monterrey Consensus and Report, Report of the International Conference on Financing for Development, indigenous people, developing countries.

Subject Guide

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