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(Adopted by Member Governments during the meeting of the Environment Committee at Ministerial level 14th November 1974)


Recognising that increasing population, industrialisation and urbanisation place growing pressures on the limited assimilative capacity of the environment, and on the finite stock of natural resources;

Conscious of the responsibility they share to safeguard and improve the quality of the environment, both nationally and in a global context, and at the same time to promote economic development, and confident that the achievement of these goals is within the reach of their national economies;

Noting the unique contribution the OECD can make in this field;

Recalling the Declaration adopted at the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972, to which they unanimously subscribed;


1. The protection and progressive improvement of the quality of the environment is a major objective of the OECD Member countries.

2. The improvement of the environment should reflect and promote a new approach to economic growth that will take into account all components of the quality of life and not only the quantity of goods produced. Therefore, economic and social development policies must be pursued in close connection with sound environmental policies, in order to ensure a balanced contribution to the improvement of human well-being.

3. The enhancement of the human environment will require further action to evaluate and deal with the problems of cities.

4. The development, extraction, transportation, storage, use of energy and related waste disposal from existing and new sources as well as of other scarce resources, should take place under conditions that safeguard environmental values.

5. Their governments will actively seek to protect the environment by encouraging (i) the promotion of non-polluting technologies, (ii) conservation of energy and other scarce resources, (iii) intensified efforts to recycle materials, and (iv) the development of substitutes for scarce or environmentally harmful substances.

6. They will continue to observe and further refine the "Polluter-Pays Principle" and other agreed principles to encourage environmental protection and to avoid international economic distortions, and where desirable encourage the harmonization of environmental policies.

7. They will co-operate towards solving transfrontier pollution problems in a spirit of solidarity and with the intention of further developing international law in this field.

8. Comprehensive environmental planning, including that pertaining to land use should constitute an important element of government policy.

9. In order to prevent future environmental deterioration, prior assessment of the environmental consequences of significant public and private activities should be an essential element of policies applied at the national, regional and local levels.

10. Particular attention should be given to the ratification and implementation of international conventions for the protection and conservation of the environment and to the development of new conventions.

11. They will undertake, extend and strengthen the foregoing efforts and their cooperation with other international organisations and other countries, conscious of the special circumstances of developing countries, including those which are Members of OECD; in so doing they are prepared to make the benefits of OECD co-operation with respect to environmental improvement readily available to all countries.


+ This is a part of the International Environmental Agreements Compendium, compiled 1995 by the Pollution Prevention and Pesticide Management Branch, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, British Columbia, Canada.

1 The mention of "Governments" is deemed to apply also to the European Communities.