LEGAL IDEAS FORUM

International Environmental Day: Global Pollution, The Law and The Panacea.

It’s Crystal clear that climate change results to global warming which in turn weakens the ozone layer and thereby has side-effects on livelihood. As the result of excess environmental pollution, the concept of International Environmental Law were enacted. As the result of acid rain due to chemicals wastes released into the atmosphere. The issue of global warming which increases the temperature of Earth as the result of the excessive use of fossil fuel as well as the deforestation which result to the excessive ultraviolet radiation on the earth surface has equally become an international law concern.

In the late 20th century, some states developed the notion of disposing wastes and other toxic substances from ships. This practice extended from the transboundry of the developed nations to Africa, this led to the inception of the Oslo Convention for the prevention of Marine pollution by dumping from ships and aircrafts in 1972 as well as the Proclamation for the dumping of nuclear and industrial wastes in Africa, adopted by OAU in Bamako

Overtime, International law developed interest in the aspect of ecosystem; The influence of international laws towards the environmental depletion can’t be over-ephasized. The inception of Environmental Program in Stockholm conference in 1972 has brought a significant change at the environmental law system. The program organized by the governing body in Nairobi was saddled with the responsibility of promoting the advance changes brought by the conventions on international Environmental Law. The issue of humanity, ranging from fundamental right to life, right to adequate standard of living, right to health, etcetera has become an international law concern; the Stockholm Declaration of the UN conference on the Human Environment 1972 noted thus:
” The environment is essential to… The enjoyment of basic human rights
even the right to life itself.”

Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate
conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being."

Equally, Art 24 of the African Charter on human and people’s right, 1981, provides thus:

"All people shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development." 

Article 11 of the Additional Protocol on the American Convention on Human Rights, 1988 provides thus:

"Everyone shall have the right to live in a healthy in a healthy
environment and that state parties shall promote the protection, preservation and improvement of the environment.

Further, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development adopted at the UN conference on Environment and Development in 1992, it provides that:

"Human beings are at the center of concerns for sustainable development, they're entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature."

The Institut de Deroit International, adopted a resolution on the environment at its Strasbourg session in September 1997, it provides that:
” Every human being has the right to live in a healthy environment.”

The court equally noted in the Sulphur dioxide pollution from the Canadian smelter, thus: “Under principle of international law, as well as the law of the United States, no state has the right to use its territory in such a manner to fume in or to the territory of others or their territory therein…”

Coming down the line to the regional frameworks, in 2009, the Federal Government gazetted the rules and regulations as it relates to ozone layer, National Environmental (Ozone Layer Protection) Regulations, 2009, the preamble of the gazette provides, thus:

"In exercise of power conferred on me by section 34 of the National 
Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency
(Establishment) Act, 2007, and all other powers enabling me in that
behalf, I JOHN ODEY, Minister of Environment hereby make 
the following regulations."

The gazette provides chronologically the list of substances that can in turn contribute towards the Ozone Depletion (ODS) and regulates it.

There is no iota of doubt that global warming affects the livelihood of every being. Experts forecasted that as the result of global warming which weakens the Ozone Layer, it in turn, intensifies the sun radiation which kills plants and affects human beings. It’s equally stated that the intensity of the sun radiation as the result of global warming melts the avalanche (snow) in Antarctica which find its way into the seas and waterways. The side-effect of this is the resulting massive Flood which is witnessed around the world.

About the Author

Mujahid Muhammad Musa is a 200level law student of Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto and LIFIN Campus Director.

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