Although all States agree that sustainable development must be provided for at the international level, it is still impossible to foresee which environmental problems are to be dealt with by the community of States rather than by States individually.
The all-important debate over the development of specific measures enforceable under international law is just beginning. This book takes a major step in the progress of that debate toward a genuine global commitment to the protection of the earth and of future generations.
The essays in this book represent a remarkable confluence of expert scholarly opinion on this vital subject in two of the world's most populous and powerful countries. The outcome of a symposium in Beijing in September 1999, organised jointly by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the German Research Association, the book emphasizes the urgent need for international cooperation without losing sight of the inevitable restrictions on State sovereignty inherent in solving environmental problems.
The authors demonstrate that research activities should concentrate on new forms of compliance control and compliance assistance, and on the improvement of public awareness and participation, before attempting to "lay down the law" in this complex and crucial area.
This is an important work for all practitioners, policymakers, academics, and researchers in any aspect of environmental studies. It points a way into the future that overcomes a number of the obstacles that impede the timely development of environmental security.