THE SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT CHARTER
On 26 May 1996, NDP leader Glen Clark made public these eight principles which, he said, will guide his government. He was elected as B.C. Premier in June by a narrow margin.
- STEWARDSHIP. 'Stewardship of our environment must take a long-term and integrated view of resource management, recognising the dependent relationship of humans on the environment and that environmental health is fundamental to economic and human health.'
- SUSTAINABILITY. 'Resources should not be used beyond their capacity to be naturally replenished, both in quality and quantity, for the well-being of future generations.'
- PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE. 'The onus of proof should be on parties proposing actions which could cause serious or irreversible damage to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that no damage will be caused.'
- POLLUTION PREVENTION. 'Reduction or elimination of pollutants should be at their source. This contrasts with 'end-of-pipe' controls on waste generated after the damage has been done.'
- USER PAYS. 'Users of environmental resources should pay fair value for the use of this natural capital, and should exercise this privilege with care and consideration for other living beings. The user pay principle places the responsibility for sound environmental stewardship of products on industry, from the point of manufacturing to the point of final disposal.'
- ENVIRONMENTAL EQUITY. 'All species - plant, animal and human - have an intrinsic right to a healthy environment, and this right extends beyond the present generation to the future generations. No segment of these populations should bear disproportionately high adverse effects.'
- SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. 'Full participation and commitment of all societal groups fosters a smoother transition to sustainability than would be possible if these groups worked independently.'
- ENFORCEMENT. 'Environmental regulations will be strictly enforced with tough penalties and public accountability.'