Principles of Environmental Justice

Principles of Environmental Justice

1. Environmental policy must be based in justice for all without discrimination due to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, culture, or any other factor.

2. All life is sacred and environmental justice demands the mutual respect and protection of all life from environmental hazards, poison, toxins, and liabilities caused directly or indirectly by industrial development, production and waste.

3. Environmental justice affirms ecological unity and the interdependence of the diversity of all life, and the fundamental right of all life to be free from ecological destruction.

4. Human progress and development must be based upon the just sustainability of the environment and not upon the unjust exploitation, manipulation and domination of the environment.

5. An environmental injustice anywhere is a threat to environmental justice everywhere in the global community, and thus, environmental justice movements at the local, regional, and national levels must be viewed in a global context.

6. Natural resources must be used equitably, frugally, and in the interest of environmental and social justice for all, not in the narrow economic interests of any group over others.

7. Industrial producers of poisons, toxins, hazardous wastes, pollutants, radioactive substances, and other dangerous emissions must be held directly responsible for detoxification at the point of production and other environmental injustice methods at the point and site of production.

8. A governmental act of environmental injustice is a violation of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the United Nations Convention of Genocide.

9. The rights to clean air, water, food, and land are fundamental rights of environmental justice for all.

10. Victims of environmental injustice have the right to demand and receive compensation for damages and discrimination.

This text was prepared by The People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.

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Last modified: July 25, 1997