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Principles of environmental law the design and application of modern environmental law have been shaped by a set of principles and concepts outlined in publications such as our common future 1987 published by the world commission on environment and development and the earth summits rio declaration 1992. Principles of international environmental law remains the definitive treatise on this vitally important area of international law the international community faces unprecedented environmental challenges and this work provides a comprehensive assessment of the capacity of environmental norms and institutions to address these threats. The principles of international environmental law 31 introduction in the preceding chapter we left open the question of the principles and concepts that underlie international environmental law and define its con tours this chapter can therefore be seen as the continuation of chapter 2 as it. International environmental law has developed between two apparently contradicting principles first states have sovereign rights over their natural resources second states should not cause damage to the environment. Principles of environmental law environmental justice is all about the sacredness of mother nature this sacredness can only be maintained if pure air and clean water which are the basic demands of all men could be preserved but with the increase in the global pollution level and the deterioration of these basic amenities this becomes difficult