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SOUTH PACIFIC DECLARATIONS ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Having regard to the Declaration of the UN Conference on the Human Environmet adopted in Stockholm in 1972 and the desirability for regional declaration within the South Pacific framework;
Noting the World Conservation Strategy;
Recognizing that the environment of the South Pacific
Region has features such as tropical rain forests and small
island/lagoon/reef ecosystems which require special care in
Taking into account the traditions and cultures of the Pacific peoples which incorporate wise management, born of their long history of living successfully in the region, as expressed in accepted customs and rules of conduct;
Seeking, to ensure that resource development for the benefit of the people shall be in harmony with the maintenance of the unique environmental quality of the region and the evolving principles of sustained resource management, particularly in view of increasing population densities;
Building on the established processes of regional co-operation based on independence, consultation and consensus;
1. The resources of land, sea and air which are the basis of life and cultures for South Pacific peoples must be controlled with responsibility, and safeguarded for the benefit of present and future generations, through sustained resource management.
2. Integrated environmental, economic, social and resource planning and management is essential to ensure sustainable rational use of the land and sea resources of the region, and the greatest enhancemen well-being.t of human wellbeing.
3. An effective programme of public information, education and training is necessary to promote basic environmental understanding by the people, as weld as the skills necessary for effective environmental assessment and management.
4. Appropriate and enforceable legal instruments and institutional arrangements are a necessary basis for effective integration of environmental concern with the whole development process.
5. A system of specially-designated areas such as national parks and reserves is essential for the protection of traditional use of resources, and should be included in resource use plantting.
6. The economic utilization of resources, particularly forests and fisecries, should he based upon reliable information to ensure sustainable production without over-exploitation or damage to the environment and affected peoples.
7. Management of the growth and distribution of population should be encouraged to ensure adequate management of natural resources and to maintain adequate standards of human well-being.
8. The rate and nature of discharges of noll-nuclear wastes shall not exceed the capacity of the environment to absorb them without harm to the environment and to the people who live from it.
9. The storage and release of nuclear wastes in the Pacific regional environment shall be prevented.
10. The testing of nuclear devices against the wishes of the majority of the people in the region will not be permitted.
11. The vulnerability of much of the region to environmental and economic damage from natural and man-made disasters requires the development of national and regional contingency plans and prevention programmer.
12. Regional co-operation should be further developed as an effective means of helping the countries and territories of the South Pacific to maintain and improve their shared environment and to enhance their capacity to provide a present and future resource base to support the needs and maintain the quality of life of the people.
13. Traditional conservation practices and technology and traditional systems of land and reef tenure adaptable for modern resource management shall be encouraged. Traditional environmental knowledge will be sought and considered when assessing the expected effects of development projects.
14. Involvement and participation of directly affected people in the mallagement of their resources, including the decision-making process, should be encouraged.
Source: Report of the Conference on the Human Environment in the South Pacific, Mareh 1982.
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