Prevention Principle

1. Prevention in a nutshell

What is the principle of preventive approach?
This principle requires the states to prevent damage to the environment and to reduce, limit or control activities which might cause or risk such damage (“Sand, Principles of International Environmental Law”)
Preventative logic, which may be captured in the common-sense adagio that prevention is better than cure, has been a pervasive feature of environmental   law and policy as it has formed the foundation of many international and national legal instruments aimed at environmental protection.
The preventative principle, however, is a predominantly environmental concept.
Curative measures may remediate environmental damage, but they come too late to avert it.
In contrast, preventive measures do not depend on the appearance of ecological problems; they anticipate damage or, where it has already occurred, try to ensure it does not spread.

The interaction between the principle and the obligation not to cause environmental damage to the environment of other States or to areas beyond national jurisdiction
Concerning the importance of the Prevention principle in Environmental Law, I would like to make reference to Principle 2 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Pursuant to Principle 2 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, States have ‘the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction’.
According to de   Sadeleer, this can be seen as a manifestation of the principle of prevention.
Moreover, the prevention principle was reiterated in the Rio Declaration and is almost universally believed to form part of customary international law.
In fact, Rio’s Principle 2 is widely recognised to reflect a rule of customary international law, placing preventive duties on the right of States to...