Mostafa Tolba describes six instruments whose negotiations are representatives of an international environmental agenda that has evolved since the Stockholm Conference in 1972. The author was close associated with every step of the negotiations and the problems that set upon their establishment. Some lessons learned in earlier negotiations have been useful for the performance of the latest ones in several fields such as, economics, trades, policy, funding, technological regulations and the environment while new issues present new challenges.
Through the book and the description of the stages of different negotiations the author let us be involved in the broader perception of environmental justice, realistic actions and common efforts that are emerging to protect the Earth, and to protect those who are more on risk and who are least responsible for environmental deterioration.
The negotiations described in the book allowed us to understand that we need a global society that is committed to the common good regarding to their own interests because the problems of the earth can not be continued analyzed in an isolation perspective since environmental problems can affect us today or in the future. The international community has been entering on a new dimension where the society has been engaged in the preservation of the global environment and recognized the absent or lack of international responsibility. For this and other reasons the reality of a global society is finally being seen.
Tolba mention in his book: “The future on which we have embarked is the only future we have, we have no where else to go”. This phrase will allow us to comprehend the perspective of a global society who claims for environmental responsibility commonly called environmental sustainability. With this perspective we are able to enhance the perspective of a global assimilation and understanding of the environmental problems through international community without boundaries.
Governments, industry, non profit organizations, nations and the public, alerted by a long series of environmental catastrophes and by the scientific community researches now recognized that we all share the only planet we have. This idea of understanding that we share the same and only planet involve the international community during the negotiations to hold back their own interests and requirements and to be open to negotiate not only for their particular interests but for the common good. For instance, all countries North and South accept the fact that global environmental problems have ushered in a new sense of global partnership during the different negotiations.
The negotiations not only achieve triumphs when the scientific certainties are involved apart from them when all the participants of the International Community understand that they are potentially affected today and far in to the future allow them to negotiate with a collective action which is a masterpiece of compromise. For instance, the community of nations has demonstrated its readiness to agree to binding international and regional legal instruments from saving the ozone layer to wetlands preservation, to control of the trade in wildlife.
This compromise among nations have the advantage of ease of implementation, flexibility due to its mechanism allowing adjustments to meet scientific, technological, and socioeconomic changes, and the clearly applied principles of common but differentiated responsibility. For instance a global society is the term which entitled the new way to describe the stakeholders of the world and the formula of informal consultation among them, between two or more individuals , between two or three countries or larger groups depending upon the topic, would make possible a clear understanding of the real issues that underlay they differences.
Nevertheless, with the better understanding of the extent to which the environment has deteriorated an awareness of protecting those countries who are most in risk and at the same time are least responsible for the environmental deterioration has become a developing need to be expressed in environmental terms; creating a new language which will be much more widely accepted the economic rational for increasing the resources available for international needs.
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