Article Summary on Marine Pollution

In this article , we use a case study of the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs ) to examine the role of the precautionary principle in international environmental law and policy .Our findings indicate that a major function of the principle is to redistribute the burden of scientific uncertainty . By lowering the threshold of evidence of threats to human health or the environment required to trigger deliberations about taking action , the precautionary principle speeds up the process by which underlying ecological interdependence and scientific uncertainty are translated into policy interdependence and uncertainty . This prompts states to coordinate their policymaking , which reinforces multilateral processes and underlines the importance of the convening , coordinating , and facilitating roles of international institutions such as the United Nations Environment Programme . KEY-WORDS : precautionary principle , persistent organic pollutants (POPs , multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs ,scientific uncertainty , management of interdependence .The precautionary principle has emerged as an important yet contentious issue in multilateral environmental agreements . Even as it progressively becomes consolidated into international law and widely acknowledged as an appropriate response to scientific uncertainty , the application of the precautionary principle internationally has , as some state and nonstate actors claim , generated even more uncertainty . The principle ‘s contentious nature was obvious during negotiations leading to the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (1 ) which provides an excellent opportunity to examine the role of the principle not only in that particular regime but also in international environmental law more generally . We thus draw on these negotiations to anchor an analysis of the implications of the precautionary principle and to explore the paradox of uncertainty associated with it .Our findings indicate that a major function of the precautionary principle is the redistribution of the burden of scientific uncertainty .Whereas actors could formerly act as if they were ecologically independent by ignoring weak signals of transboundary damage , such behavior is no longer acceptable . By lowering the threshold of scientific evidence of threats of serious or irreversible damage to human health or the environment required to trigger deliberations , the precautionary principle is speeding up the process by which underlying ecological interdependence is recognized and translated into policy interdependence . By triggering deliberations on the appropriate response to transboundary threats about which there is scientific uncertainty ,the precautionary principle translates scientific uncertainty borne by exposed populations into policy uncertainty borne by state and nonstate actors , which then prompts these actors to take a much more coordinated approach to policymaking to manage their ecological and economic interdependence . Thus , the institutionalization of precautionary norms and ideas means that segments of what would once have been considered domestic policymaking may , increasingly , be carried out at the international level , which reinforces multilateral processes and underlines the importance of the convening , coordinating , and facilitating roles of international institutions such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP .The Precautionary Principle Response to , or Generator of , Uncertainty ?The German Vorsorgeprinzip is typically credited as containing the conceptual origins of the precautionary principle (2 ) By 1991 , the precautionary principle was heralded as “the…

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