Sustainable Development and the Precautionary Principle: the Australian Experience
Sustainable development has (SD) been an important objective promoted by many development economists during the last few decades. However, the implementation of sustainable development has been a problem since adequate guidelines are not available. This is specially so in the use of environmental resources such as water, soil, land etc. The precautionary principle has been advanced as one way of making decisions on sustainable use of resources under uncertainty and irreversibility. However, the precautionary principle has encountered numerous problems in applying it in Australia such as lack of legal status, lack of information and lack of adequate methods of quantifying damages. It has not been uniformly applied and incorporating it in law and providing stronger policy support may enhance its’ wider use for the conservation of natural resources and the achievement of sustainable development.
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