United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Environment Outlook-1 - The Web version

Chapter 3: Policy Responses and Directions

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Summary of Regional Policy Responses

From the reports on regional policy responses detailed below, a pattern emerges that reflects the state of development of the machinery for managing the environment in each Region. Identified responses range from institutional strengthening and the establishment of appropriate policies and legislation, to supplementing command-and-control strategies using market-based incentives. Other responses stimulate changes in production and consumption processes, emphasize environmentally friendly technologies, or encourage increased popular participation in policy development and implementation.

Getting Started

The most widespread response in all regions to the needs expressed in Stockholm and Rio de Janeiro has been the establishment of national environment-related ministries and specialist agencies dealing with sectoral environmental concerns. In Europe and North America, this process had already begun at the time of the Stockholm conference. The lead-up to UNCED provided the additional stimulus for all regions to further develop an institutional and constitutional basis for sustainable development. The recent inclusion of environment in constitutional reform in many developing and rapidly industrializing countries is another important development in this regard. Complementing these institutional and constitutional changes, an almost universal interest in sustainable development has emerged in the latter half of this decade among governmental and non-governmental stakeholders alike. The "hearts and minds" of stakeholders are changing, raising hopes that environmentally sustainable development can be achieved.

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