ARTICLE: Inter/intra-generational Equity: Current Applications under International Law for Promoting the Sustainable Development of Natural Resources Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1997 Buffalo Environmental Law Journal
Buffalo Environmental Law Journal

ARTICLE: Inter/intra-generational Equity: Current Applications under International Law for Promoting the Sustainable Development of Natural Resources

Spring, 1997

4 Buff. Envt'l. L.J. 161

Author

G.F. Maggio*

Excerpt

Inter/intra-generational Equity: Current Applications under International Law for Promoting the Sustainable Development of Natural Resources
 
Introduction

This article focuses on the "equity" aspect of sustainable development, 1 especially as it relates to conservation of resources of biological diversity. This article discusses the socio-economic and environmental implications of "intergenerational equity," and analyzes its current applications in international law.

Regular and seemingly obligatory references to the rights and interests of "present and future generations" in contemporary international legal instruments 2 dealing with sustainable development suggest that global society has come to recognize the use of natural resources in an inter-temporal context. These references also indicate that intergenerational equity has become integral to international law dealing with environmental protection, resource utilization and socio-economic development. 3

Intergenerational equity, as employed in current international instruments, contains two distinct components regarding the utilization of resources. The first calls for fairness in the utilization of resources between human generations past, present and future. This component will be referred to as "inter-generational" equity. It requires attaining a balance between meeting the consumptive demands of existing societies and ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations to meet their needs. Striking a balance between current consumption and foregoing use of resources or devoting resources for investment and thus for future generations, has been a consideration for all societies. The inter-temporal aspect of resource use, however, is now a much discussed issue, due to growing threats of environmental degradation and ...
 
 
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