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In the last forty years, international environmental law has evolved rapidly, as environmental risks have become more apparent and their assessment and management more complex. In 1972, there were only a few dozen multilateral agreements, and most countries lacked environmental legislation. In 2011, there are hundreds of multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements and all countries have one or more environmental statutes and/or regulations. Many actors in addition to States shape the development, implementation of, and compliance with international environmental law. Moreover, environment is increasingly integrated with economic development, human rights, trade, and national security. Analyzing the evolution of international environmental law helps us understand the possibilities and the limitations of law in addressing environmental problems, whether globally, regionally, or locally.

Publication Citation

54 Japanese Y.B. Intl. L. 1-27 (2011)