Sustainable development and its evolution in the realm of international environmental law
Sustainable development has become a term of recurrent use by governments, policy makers, academics and environmental activists. It denotes a process of human development through which resources are used to meet human needs while preserving the quality of natural environment and the objective of which is to meet the needs of the current and future generations. Sustainable development envisions the world as an entity connecting space and time. When one thinks of the world as an entity connecting space, it is understood that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of Australia. Again when one thinks of the world as an entity connecting time, it is realized that the decisions that our grandparents made as how to farm the land continue to affect agricultural practice today, and the economic policies we endorse today will have an impact on our next generations. The concept of sustainable development is rooted in this sort of thinking. It helps us to understand our resources, our environment and the world.1 This study traced the development of the concept and significance of sustainable development in the realm of international law specifically international environmental law. It also explored how the term has been reflected in multiple international environmental law instruments.
Key words: Sustainable Development, Evolution, International Law, Environmental Protection