Hospitals & Asylums    





Major Earth Treaties of 1992 HA-26-4-07
By Tony Sanders
1. The purpose of this essay is to inform the public of the three major environmental treaties and underlying scientific data to facilitate 
international cooperation.  70.8%, 361.132 million sq km of the world's 510.072 million sq km surface is water, 29.2%, 148.94 million sq 
km is land.  As the result of the symbiosis between biotic life and the evaporation of water the Earth has developed an atmosphere. Air 
contains roughly 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases, in addition to about 
3% water vapor. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet radiation and reducing temperature extremes between day
 and night.  Three quarters of the atmosphere's mass is within 11 km of the planetary surface.  The Karman line, at 100 km (62 miles), is 
frequently used as the boundary between atmosphere and outer space. Earth is an estimated 4.5 billion years old.  Scientists believe the 
Earth began about 4.6 billion years ago as a cosmic lumping of dust in larger and larger particles until 150 million years had passed. At 
about 4.4 billion years, the young Earth had a mass similar to the mass it has today. Geochemical analysis of rocks suggests that the 
continents probably began forming about 4.3 billion years ago as the Earth continued to cool. The cooling also resulted in the release of 
gases from the lithosphere, much of which formed the Earth's early atmosphere.  At around 4 billion years ago cooling caused precipitation 
of water and the development of the oceans leading to the earliest chemosynthetic bacterial life around 3.8 billion years ago that began to 
modify the atmosphere with the accumulation of oxygen.  From 3.3 billion years till the present the development, evolution and growth of 
life increased the oxygen content in the atmosphere from less than 1% to 21%.  Most of the build up of oxygen in the atmosphere occurred 
between 2.1 and 1.5 billion years ago as a direct result of photosynthesis from ocean based plants like algae.  At about 450 million years ago, 
there was enough oxygen in the atmosphere to allow for the development of a stratospheric ozone layer that was thick enough to keep 
terrestrial life protected from ultraviolet radiation. As a result, terrestrial life began its development and expansion at this time. Around 
500 million years ago oxygen levels topped off. 


2. The earliest humans are estimated to have first began to walk upright around 4 million years ago.  As the result of the bipedal nature of the beast man could not outrun or outclimb their predators so relied upon tribal cooperation to protect themselves.  For two million years pre human tribes were primarily herb eaters.  For the majority of the next two million years they were hunter gatherers.  The intellect, which separates the human from all other animals, developed slowly over the entire four million years or more of the human development.  Around 2.4 to 1.5 million years ago homo habilis appear to have developed tools that were found with their fossil remains.  The homo erectus lived from 1.8 to 300,000 years ago and are attributed with developing a significantly larger brain capacity, tools, weapons, and cooking with fire.  Archaic homo sapiens first arrived 500,000 to 200,000 years ago and are notable for indications that speech had evolved.  Homo sapiens neanderthalis co-existed with early homo sapiens in Europe and the Middle East between 150,000 and 35,000 years ago and had a larger cranial capacity than we do today.  Modern homo sapiens sapiens first appeared around 120,000 years ago and they invented agriculture and the basics of civilization beginning around 10,000 years ago.  It was not until the 1700s, 300 years ago, that humans had begun to modify the concenstration of some gases in atmosphere and industrialization came to have a serious negative impact upon the atmosphere.  For sustainable development humans must use sensible agricultural and hunting practices. The Bible contains numerous examples of the care with which we are expected to treat the environment. In (Gen. 1:28) humans are charged with replenishing the earth and subduing it.  (Lev. 25:12) revels in the jubilee of working the field that shall be holy unto you and ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.  In (Deut. 22:6) can be found the principle of protecting the habitat of wildlife (Deut. 25:4) directs compassion for domestic animals. (Job 38) and (Psalm 104) express the wonder of creation and speak of the conservation of nature. (Matt. 6:26) explains how the wild animals provide for themselves.  It is clear that human have always been charged with environmental stewardship.


3. Environmental law is a relatively new invention.  Industrialization dramatically increased the devastation that mankind wreaked on the environment it was however not until the turn of the 20th century that nations first became interested in protecting the purity of the food and drugs they consume themselves.  It was not until the first Earth Day 22 April 1970 that environmental law was discernibly established.  Previously the environmental conservation was the domain of scientists in general, park wardens and concerned citizens.  After nationalizing natural resources in the 1960s, there was an international revolution in environmental law and the nation(s) came to regulate clean air, clean water and biological diversity under the law and through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is charged with protecting human health and environment.  In 1972 the United Nations established their Environmental Programme (UNEP) to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment.  It was however not until 1992 that the three major environmental treaties were ratified by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, “Earth Summit”, from 3 to 14 June 1992 guided by Agenda 21.  The Rio Declaration summarizes the consensus principles of sustainable development, recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home, human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. Humans are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.  States have the sovereign right to exploit the natural resources within their borders but have the responsibility not to cause damage to the environment or to areas beyond their national jurisdiction.  Environmental protection should constitute an integral part of the development process in which the eradication of poverty, particularly in developing nations is of paramount importance.  States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem.  To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.  Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level.  States shall enact effective environmental legislation.  Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development.  States and people shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and cooperate in good faith.  The three major environmental treaties are the Framework Convention on Climate Change of 9 May 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity of 5 June 1992, and the Statement on Forest Principles of 14 August 1992.


4. The Framework Convention on Climate Change acknowledges that increases in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases will change the climate and that this a common concern for the ecosystem and mankind.  The treaty notes that developed countries contribute the largest per capita share of greenhouse gases and that State have a sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their environmental and development policies.  States should enact effective environmental legislation.  Developed countries must take immediate action in a flexible manner on the basis of clear priorities.  Low-lying and other small island countries, countries with low-lying coastal, arid and semi-arid areas or areas liable to floods, drought and desertification, and developing countries with fragile mountainous ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.  Developing countries may have difficulty complying but are not the largest polluters of the air.  Responses to climate change should be coordinated with social and economic development.  All countries, especially developing countries, need access to resources required to achieve sustainable social and economic development that should utilize modern clean technology, determined to protect the climate for present and future generations.  The ultimate objective of this Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system in a time frame that would allow the ecosystem to adapt naturally to climate change in order to protect the food supply and economic development in a sustainable fashion.  Developed nations shall assist developing nations to comply with this treaty.   The Ozone Secretariat was established to enforce the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer of 1985 and for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer of 1987.  These treaties are landmark international agreements designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by stipulating that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere--chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform--are to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform). Climate change proves to be a more difficult issue to redress because of the dependency modern industrialized societies have upon fossil fuels.  The United States, the world’s largest air polluter, unanimously ratified the 1992 UNFCCC with the support of Bush Sr., Bush Jr. has however refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC of 11 December 1997 that requires the United States to reduce their carbon emissions to 93% of current levels.  The Environmental Protection Agency has made Clean Air and Climate Change Goal #1 in their Strategic Plan 2006-2011 that exceeds international standards however their noncompliance with State and international actors has come under the criticism of the US Supreme Court to enforce car emission tests in Massachusetts v. EPA No. 05-1220 of 2 April 2007.


5. Scientific evidence, much suppressed by the US President, does indicate that climate change and global warming are real problems.  The average temperature of the earth's surface has risen by 0.6 degrees C since the late 1800s. It is expected to increase by another 1.4 to 5.8 degrees C by the year 2100 -- a rapid and profound change. Even if the minimum predicted increase takes place, it will be larger than any century-long trend in the last 10,000 years.  The principal reason for the mounting thermometer is a century and a half of industrialization: the burning of ever-greater quantities of oil, gasoline, and coal, the cutting of forests, and certain farming methods.  These activities have increased the amount of "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Such gases occur naturally and are critical for life on earth; they keep some of the sun's warmth from reflecting back into space, and without them the world would be a cold and barren place. Global warming is an international problem, involving weather patterns that transcend international boundaries.  The 1990s appear to have been the warmest decade of the last Millennium, and 1998 the warmest year.  The global mean surface temperature in 2006 is currently estimated to be + 0.42°C above the 1961-1990 an­nual average (14°C/57.2°F), making 2006 the sixth warmest year on record. Averaged separately for both hemi­spheres, 2006 surface temperatures for the northern hemisphere (0.58°C above 30-year mean of 14.6°C/58.28°F) are likely to be the fourth warmest and for the southern hemisphere (0.26°C above 30-year mean of 13.4°C/56.12°F), the seventh warmest in the instrumental re­cord from 1861 to the present.  Since the start of the 20th century, the global average surface temperature has risen approximately 0.7°C. But this rise has not been continuous. Since 1976, the global average temperature has risen sharply, at 0.18°C per decade. In the northern and southern hemispheres, the period 1997-2006 averaged 0.53°C and 0.27°C above the 1961-1990 mean, respectively. On 25 September, the maximum area of the 2006 ozone hole over the Antarctic was recorded at 29.5 million km˛, slightly larger than the previous record area of 29.4 million km˛ reached in September 2000. The size and persistence of the 2006 ozone hole area with its ozone mass deficit of 40.8 megatonnes (also a record) can be explained by the continuing presence of near-peak levels of ozone-depleting substances in combination with a particularly cold stratospheric winter. Low temperatures in the first part of January prompted a 20 per cent loss in the ozone layer over the Arctic in 2006. The year 2006 continues the pattern of sharply decreasing Arctic sea ice. The average sea-ice extent for the entire month of September was 5.9 million km˛, the second lowest on record missing the 2005 record by 340 000 km˛. Including 2006, the September rate of sea ice decline is now approximately -8.59% per decade, or 60 421 km˛ per year. The current warming trend is expected to cause extinctions. Numerous plant and animal species, already weakened by pollution and loss of habitat, are not expected to survive the next 100 years. Human beings, while not threatened in this way, are likely to face mounting difficulties. Recent severe storms, floods and droughts, for example, appear to show that computer models predicting more frequent "extreme weather events" are on target.  The sea level rose on average by 10 to 20 cm during the 20th century, and an additional increase of 9 to 88 cm is expected by the year 2100. (Higher temperatures cause ocean volume to expand, and melting glaciers and ice caps add more water.) If the higher end of that scale is reached, the sea could overflow the heavily populated coastlines of such countries as Bangladesh, cause the disappearance of some nations entirely (such as the island state of the Maldives), foul freshwater supplies for billions of people, and spur mass migrations.  Agricultural yields are expected to drop in most tropical and sub-tropical regions -- and in temperate regions, too, if the temperature increase is more than a few degrees C. Drying of continental interiors, such as central Asia, the African Sahel, and the Great Plains of the United States, is also forecast. These changes could cause, at a minimum, disruptions in land use and food supply and the range of diseases.  Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will not only lead us to energy independence, it will help us combat climate change. 


6. The Convention on Biological Diversity seeks to raise consciousness of the intrinsic value of biological diversity as a common concern 
of humankind.  Biological resources feed and clothe us and provide housing, medicines and spiritual nourishment. The natural ecosystems
 of forests, savannahs, pastures and rangelands, deserts, tundras, rivers, lakes and seas contain most of the Earth's biodiversity. Farmers' 
fields and gardens are also of great importance as repositories, while gene banks, botanical gardens, zoos and other germ-plasm repositories 
make a small but significant contribution. The current decline in biodiversity is largely the result of human activity and represents a serious 
threat to human development. Despite mounting efforts over the past 20 years, the loss of the world's biological diversity, mainly from 
habitat destruction, over-harvesting, pollution and the inappropriate introduction of foreign plants and animals, has continued. Biological 
resources constitute a capital asset with great potential for yielding sustainable benefits. Urgent and decisive action is needed to conserve 
and maintain genes, species and ecosystems, with a view to the sustainable management and use of biological resources.  States are 
responsible for conserving their biological diversity and for using their biological resources in a sustainable manner. It is vital to prevent the 
causes of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity at its source. The fundamental requirement for the conservation of biological 
diversity is the in-situ conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species 
in their natural surroundings.  Ex-situ measures, preferably in the country of origin, also have an important role to play.  The traditional 
dependence of many indigenous and local communities on biological resources makes it desirable to share equitably benefits arising from 
the use of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices relevant to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of 
its components by intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.  Substantial investments are required to conserve biological 
diversity and that there is the expectation of a broad range of environmental, economic and social benefits from those investments.  
Economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries.  Conservation 
and sustainable use of biological diversity is of critical importance for meeting the food, health and other needs of the growing world 
population, for which purpose access to and sharing of both genetic resources and technologies are essential.  Ultimately, the conservation 
and sustainable use of biological diversity will strengthen friendly relations among States and contribute to peace for humankind.  The 
objectives of this Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable 
sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.  A Protocol on Bio-safety was done on 29 January 2000 with the 
objective of this Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of 
living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of 
biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on trans-boundary movements. 
7. Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, the 
sixth major extinction event in the history of the earth. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less 
than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.  At least one in eight known plant species 
is threatened with extinction. Although scientists are divided over the specific numbers, many believe that the rate of loss is greater now 
than at any time in history.  Habitats ranging from coral reefs to tropical rainforests face mounting threats.  Apart from the disappearance 
of the dinosaurs, the other "Big Five" extinctions were about 205, 250, 375 and 440 million years ago. Scientists suspect that asteroid 
strikes, volcanic eruptions or sudden climate shifts may explain the five.  The first, 450 million years ago, occurred shortly after the 
evolution of the first land-based plants and 100 million years after the Cambrian Explosion of animal life beneath the seas. The second 
extinction spasm came 350 million years ago, causing the formation of coal forests. Then the Earth experienced two mass extinctions during 
the Triassic period, between 250 and 200 million years ago. The fifth mass extinction, probably caused by a giant meteor collision, 
occurred 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, and ended the reptilian dominance of the Earth.  The new human caused, 
6th extinction results in the extinction of between 17,000 to 100,000 species from our planet, every year, from a total of 10 to 100 million 
species.  Fifty per cent of the Earth's species will have vanished inside the next 100 years.  Mankind is using almost half the energy 
available to sustain life on the planet, and this figure will only grow as our population leaps from 5.7 billion to ten billion inside the next 
half-century.  There is no question that Homo sapiens is the single most dominant species on Earth today. We arrived late on the 
evolutionary scene and at a time when the diversity of life on the planet was near its all-time high.  Homo sapiens are not the first living 
creature to have a dramatic impact on Earth's biota, of course. The advent of photosynthetic microorganisms some three billion years ago 
began to transform the atmosphere from one of low oxygen content to one of relatively high levels, reaching close to modern levels within 
the last billion years. With the change, very different life forms were possible, including multi-cellular organisms, and previously abundant 
forms that thrived in a low oxygen environment were consigned to marginal habitats of the Earth. But that change was wrought not by a single, 
sentient species consciously pursuing its own material goals, but by countless, non-sentient species, collectively and unconsciously operating 
new metabolic pathways.  Humans endanger the existence of species in three principal ways. The first is through direct exploitation, such as 
hunting. From butterflies, to songbirds, to elephants, the human appetite for collecting or eating parts of wild creatures puts many species at 
risk of extinction. Second is the biological havoc that is occasionally wreaked following the introduction of alien species to new ecosystems, 
whether deliberately or accidentally.  The third, and by far the most important, mode of human-driven extinction is the destruction and 
fragmentation of habitat, especially the inexorable cutting of tropical rainforests. The forests, which cover just 7 percent of the world's land 
surface, are a cauldron of evolutionary innovation and are home to half of the world's species. The continued growth of human populations in 
all parts of the world daily encroaches on wild habitats, whether through the expansion of agricultural land, the building of towns and cities, 
or the transport infrastructure that joins them. As the habitats shrink, so too does the Earth's capacity to sustain its biological heritage. 


8. The Statement on Forest Principles of 14 June 1992 pledges parties to more sustainable use of forest resources. All countries should take part in "the greening of the world" through forest planting and conservation.  Countries have the right to use forests for their social and economic development needs. Such use should be based on national policies consistent with sustainable development.  The sustainable use of forests will require sustainable patterns of production and consumption at a global level.  Forests should be managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations. The profits from biotechnology products and genetic materials taken from forests should be shared, on mutually agreed terms, with countries where the forests are located. Planted forests are environmentally sound sources of renewable energy and industrial raw materials. The use of wood for fuel is particularly important in developing countries. Such needs should be met through sustainable use of forests and replanting. The plantations will provide employment and reduce the pressure to cut old-growth forests. National plans should protect unique examples of forests, including old forests and forests with cultural, spiritual, historical, religious and other values. International financial support, including some from the private sector, should be provided to developing nations to help protect their forests.  Countries need sustainable forestry plans based on environmentally sound guidelines. Forestry plans should count both the economic and non-economic values of forests, and the environmental costs and benefits of harvesting or protecting forests. Policies that encourage forest degradation should be avoided. The planning and implementation of national forest policies should involve a wide variety of people, including women, forest dwellers, indigenous people, industries, workers and non-government organizations. Forest policies should support the identity, culture and rights of indigenous people and forest dwellers. Their knowledge of conservation and sustainable forest use should be respected and used in developing forestry programs. They should be offered forms of economic activity and land tenure that encourage sustainable forest use and provide them with an adequate livelihood and level of well-being. Trade in forest products should be based on non-discriminatory, rules, agreed on by nations. Unilateral measures should not be used to restrict or ban international trade in timber and other forest products. Trade measures should encourage local processing and higher prices for processed products. Tariffs and other barriers to markets for such goods should be reduced or removed. There should be controls on pollutants, such as acidic fallout, that harm forests.  The primary goal is to reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide through sustainable forest management, including protection and reforestation, and increase efforts to prevent forest degradation.


9. Forests world wide have been and are being threatened by uncontrolled degradation and conversion to other types of land uses, influenced by increasing human needs; agricultural expansion; and environmentally harmful mismanagement, including, for example, lack of adequate forest-fire control and anti-poaching measures, unsustainable commercial logging, overgrazing and unregulated browsing, harmful effects of airborne pollutants, economic incentives and other measures taken by other sectors of the economy. The impacts of loss and degradation of forests are in the form of soil erosion; loss of biological diversity, damage to wildlife habitats and degradation of watershed areas, deterioration of the quality of life and reduction of the options for development. Deforestation has resulted in the reduction of indigenous forests to four-fifths of their pre-agricultural area. Indigenous forests now cover 21% of the earth's land surface. According to the World Resources Institute, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests already have been destroyed. Up to 90 percent of West Africa’s coastal rain forests have disappeared since 1900. Brazil and Indonesia, which contain the world’s two largest surviving regions of rain forest, are being stripped at an alarming rate by logging, fires, and land clearing for agriculture and cattle-grazing. Some eighty thousand square miles of trees are felled a year, or more than an acre a second.  At this rate of destruction, tropical forests will be reduced to 10 percent of their original cover soon after the turn of the century and to a tiny remnant by 2050. The annual net loss of forests was 7.3 million hectares - an area the size of Panama or Ireland - from 2000-2005, slightly less than 8.9 million hectares a year from 1990-2000.  A study by the U.S. National Biological Service reported in February 1995 that during the 20th half the country's natural ecosystems had been degraded to the point of endangerment.  Net deforestation rates have fallen since the 1990-2000 period, but some 13 million hectares of the world’s forests are still lost each year, including 6 million hectares of primary forests. Primary forests -- forests with no visible signs of past or present human activities -- are considered the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. Industrial logging, clearing and forest conversion for agriculture, fuel wood collection by rural poor, and forest fires -- often purposely set by people -- are considered the leading causes of deforestation.  The United States has the seventh largest annual loss of primary forests in the world. In the 2000-2005 period, the United States lost an average of 831 square miles (215,200 hectares, 2,152 square kilometers or 531,771 acres) of such lands which are sometimes termed "old-growth forests."


10. Agenda 21 addresses the comprehensive environmental quality problems of the new century. It reflects a global consensus and political commitment that is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments. National strategies, plans, policies and processes are crucial in achieving this.  Financial resources will need to be committed to the environmental cause of sustainable development.  Sustainable development requires a commitment to sound economic policies and trade in harmony with the environment.  A specific anti-poverty strategy is therefore one of the basic conditions for ensuring sustainable development.  Poverty and environmental degradation are closely interrelated, the wealthy invest in beautification programs while the poor are forced to live in their refuse.  The growth of world population and production combined with unsustainable consumption patterns places increasingly severe stress on the life-supporting capacities of our planet.  Environmental concerns need to be integrated into the decision-making process.  Protection of the atmosphere is a broad and multidimensional endeavor involving various sectors of economic activity often dependent upon fossil fuels.  Land resources are used for a variety of purposes which interact and may compete with one another as an ecosystem; therefore, it is desirable to plan and manage all uses in an integrated manner that takes the environment, economic, demographic and social factors into consideration.  Policies must support the multiple ecological, economic, social and cultural roles of trees, forests and forest lands that need conservation of existing forests and replanting.  Desertification in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas results from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities, affects about one sixth of the world's population, 70 per cent of all dry lands, amounting to 3.6 billion hectares, one quarter of the total land area of the world.  Mountains are an important source of water, energy and biological diversity and are vulnerable to climate change.  Agriculture occupies one third of the land surface of the Earth, and is the central activity for much of the world's population. Sustainable agriculture and rural development needs to produce enough food for the increasing human population particularly in developing nations.  Estimates put pre-harvest and post-harvest losses caused by pests between 25 and 50 per cent.  Despite mounting efforts over the past 20 years, the loss of the world's biological diversity, mainly from habitat destruction, over-harvesting, pollution and the inappropriate introduction of foreign plants and animals, has continued.  The marine environment - including the oceans and all seas and adjacent coastal areas - forms an integrated whole that is an essential component of the global life-support system and a positive asset that presents opportunities for sustainable development.  Land-based sources contribute 70 per cent of marine pollution, while maritime transport and dumping-at-sea activities contribute 10 per cent each.  Marine fisheries yield 80 to 90 million tons of fish and shellfish per year.  Fresh water demands are increasing rapidly, with 70-80 per cent required for irrigation, less than 20 per cent for industry and a mere 6 per cent for domestic consumption.  Over 2.0 billion people are without access to basic sanitation, as many as 5.2 million people, including 4 million children under five years of age, die each year from waste-related diseases, it is hoped to have full urban sanitation by 2025.  The fundamental prerequisite for the achievement of sustainable development is broad public participation in decision-making informed of environmental issues and data.

1. Agenda 21
2. Butler, Rhett A. World deforestation rates and forest cover statistics, 2000-2005. November 16, 2005
3. Convention on Biological Diversity. 5 June 1992
4. Environmental Protection Agency. Strategic Plan 2006-2011
5. European Geosciences Union Newsletter. Issue 18 January 2007
6. Forest Conservation Portal
7. Framework Convention on Climate Change. 9 May 1992
8. King James Bible
9. Kyoto Protocol. 11 December 1997

10. Leakey, Richard; Lewin, Roger. The Sixth Extinction. Doubleday. 1995

11. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer of 1987

12. Ozone Secretariat

13. Pidwirny M. Fundamentals of Physical Geography. Chapter 5(b): The Universe, Earth, Natural Spheres, and Gaia. 1996-2006

14. Protocol on Bio-safety. 29 January 2000

15. Reuters. Human Spur Worst Extinctions Since Dinosaurs. 21 March 2006

16. Rio Declaration. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Rio de Janeiro. 3 to 14 June 1992

17. Statement on Forest Principles. A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. III). 14 August 1992
18. Stevenson, John. One Life: The Evolution of Man. 1998
19. The Current Mass Extinction 

20. United Nations Convention on Biodiversity

21. United Nations Environmental Programme

22. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

23. United Nations Forum on Forests

24. United States Environmental Protection Agency

25. United States Supreme Court. Massachusetts v. EPA No. 05-1220. 2 April 2007

26. Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer of 1985