On the Right to Development under the Context of Environmental Rights - Group C - Humanrights

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On the Right to Development under the Context of Environmental Rights
December 02,2016   By:chinahumanrights.org
On the Right to Development under the Context of Environmental Rights
 
ZHANG Aining
 
CHINA
 

It is recognized in the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development that "Development is a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process."However, the pursuit of development in the context of environmental rights necessitates greater emphasis on achieving economic development while protecting and preserving the environment in order to realize sustainable development.
 
While creating unprecedented economic growth and material wealth, mankind has also caused serious damage to the natural environment, and thus threatened the future of human beings as a biological species. Catastrophic acid rains, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, accelerated soil desertification, freshwater resources exhaustion, marine ecological crisis, sharp decrease of forest area, sudden environmental pollution accidents, large-scale ecological damage, water, soil and air pollution by hazardous wastes... As the human race takes pride on the result of development achieved through arduous efforts, they are "suddenly" brought home to the fact that their hard-won achievements are being eating up by an increasingly worsening environment. It is becoming increasingly clear that the enjoyment of economic development outcomes is inseparable from the state of the environment and that many forms of development are achieved at the cost of environmental resources upon which they are based. A contaminated environment with damaged biodiversity is contradictory to satisfactory living conditions and individual development.Moreover, the worse the environment becomes, the greater the suffering for human beings, in terms both the right to life and the right to health. All development results can be fully enjoyed only in an appropriate environment, which, if damaged to a certain extent, would make it impossible for their enjoyment and even lead to the total destruction of all civilizations including the entire human race. 
 
Consideration about these problems has prompted people to pay attention to the relationship between economic development and environment and that between the enjoyment of the right to development and the well-being of the human race.