Global Commons: Issues, Concerns and Strategies presents a comprehensive international perspective on the global commons—natural resource domains that are not subject to national jurisdictions and are accessible to all nations. These include the oceans, atmosphere and outer space, and specific locations such as Antarctica. Due to their critical importance in maintaining human lives and livelihoods, and their vulnerability to depletion, the collaborative preservation of the global commons is of great relevance to all human communities. Leading world powers, such as France, are increasingly adopting environmental policies as key to their functioning as democracies. After the Paris Climate Conference, there has been a spurt in cooperation between major nations, such as France and India, in the fight against climate change. This book provides exhaustive coverage of all the major facets of preservation of the global commons. It will, therefore, prove indispensable to all stakeholders in a new, just and sustainable world order.
Chapter 3: The Precautionary Principle: An Instrument at the Service of Sustainable Development
The Precautionary Principle: An Instrument at the Service of Sustainable Development
Two quotations illustrate, in my opinion, the evolution that the idea of precaution1 could undergo and its ambivalence: ‘I'd rather be too cautious then too secure,’ declares Bartholo to Rosine in The Barber of Seville, or the Useless Precaution (ACT II, Scene 3), to which Voltaire (1878, Chapter XXIV) responds by saying: ‘Nothing proves alarms better than excessive precaution’.
Works of research that relate to the precautionary principle are innumerable, scientific, epistemological, technical or polemical and often more sociological than legal in nature.2 It is clear that the question leaves nobody indifferent and continues to be debated.
Let us first ...