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Declaration of Anticipatory Environmental Policies[+]

(Adopted by Member Governments during the meeting of the Environment Committee at Ministerial level on 8th May, 1979)


Recalling their Declaration on Environmental Policy adopted in 1974;

Noting the significant achievements over the past decade in reducing pollution, conserving natural resources and providing a better human environment;

Recognizing the need to integrate environmental, economic and social policies;

Convinced that improving the human environment involves sustained long-term effort requiring policies that take into account at an early stage the environmental consequences of major decisions;

Mindful of the hazards to health and the environment arising from certain socio-economic activities;

Aware that market mechanisms by themselves often do not induce decisions that reflect their environmental consequences and costs;

Determined to pursue vigorous environmental policies in a manner consistent with their constitutional, legal and market economy systems;


1. They will strive to ensure that environmental considerations are incorporated at an early stage of any decision in all economic and social sectors likely to have significant environmental consequences.

2. They will seek more effective institutional, economic and other means to integrate environmental policy with policies in other sectors and in so doing, will attach priority to land-use planning and to the chemicals, energy and other sectors having a major impact on the environment.

3. They will, where appropriate and possible, employ economic and fiscal instruments, in combination as need be with regulatory instruments, to induce public and private enterprises and individuals to anticipate the environmental consequences of their actions and take them into account in their decisions

4. They will encourage the design, development and use of processes, products and urban form that conserve resources and energy, and that protect and enhance the environment.

5. They will, in proposing laws and making regulations, seek to avoid unduly complex or conflicting requirements and unnecessary delays in decisions affecting the environment.

6. They will endeavour, to the extent practicable, to develop systems to account for changes in environmental quality and related resource stocks.

7. They will encourage public participation, where possible, in the preparation of decisions with significant environmental consequences, inter alia, by providing as appropriate information on the risks, costs and benefits associated with the decisions.

8. They will support the promotion of environmental objectives and awareness in the field of education.

9. They will strengthen their co-operation in the OECD in order to encourage arrangements between interested parties on international environmental problems, and to seek harmonization of national environmental policies.

10. They will continue to co-operate to the greatest extent possible, both bilaterally and through appropriate international organisations, with all countries, in particular developing countries in order to assist in preventing environmental deterioration.


+ 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.