Water, air and soil pollution, global warming, deforestation, overfishing, industrial and nuclear accidents, loss of biodiversity, etc. These are just some examples of the alarming situation of environmental crisis that the planet is going through. Irrationally and unconsciously, the human species has exploited natural resources and has neglected its empathy for nature, reaching an extreme situation. That is why specific laws are required to ensure the protection and recovery of the environment.
With scientific and technological advancement and the disproportionate growth of the species, people have tried to dominate nature by breaking its balance. Given the awareness of what is caused, Environmental Law and Ecological Law are born as regulatory measures, both internally and internationally, to try to alleviate this crisis situation through the regulation and education of human behavior with nature.
Next, from AgroCorrn, we want to explain to you what is the difference between Environmental and Ecological Law so that you can understand the focus and importance of both terms in today’s society.
What is Environmental Law
The Environmental Law is one of the foundations of environmental sustainability . So much so, that its violation is an obstacle to achieving the objectives of sustainable development and environmental sustainability in all its aspects, therefore, this regulation of the relationship between people and nature is proposed as the main purpose to preserve and protect the environment by fighting pollution, preserving biodiversity and protecting natural resources .
Regarding the regulation of Environmental Law , we can find it in all its essence in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) , which aims to address environmental issues at both global and regional levels, acting as an advocate. of the environment, providing support to the governments of the different countries for the implementation of the aforementioned environmental program, promoting the application of international environmental law.
In turn, in 2017 France initiated the Global Pact for the Environment, with the aim of facilitating progress worldwide in the adoption of binding environmental regulations, thus closing the existing gaps in international environmental law. Both the individual, society and the State have to comply with the policies adapted within the Environmental Law in order to achieve a conservationist awareness and a healthy human environment.
In the case of Spain, the Spanish Constitution in its article 45 establishes that:
- “Everyone has the right to enjoy an environment suitable for the development of the person, as well as the duty to preserve it.”
- “The public authorities shall ensure the rational use of all natural resources, in order to protect and improve the quality of life and defend and restore the environment, relying on the indispensable collective solidarity.”
This competence in environmental matters is distributed between the State, the different Autonomous Communities and the municipalities. Being, therefore, the central administration (State), which will have the responsibility of legislating on environmental matters on waste, environmental impact assessments, air pollution, etc. Being able to the different autonomous communities increase this protection collected by the state, approving laws and regulations on Environmental Law respecting the basic legislation carried out by the state.
To expand this information further, you can read this other AgroCorrn article on What is Environmental Law – definition, summary and regulations .
Ecological Law: what it is and its characteristics
The Organic Law is defined as the set of policies and legal rules governing life in the ecosystem as a whole. They are a set of both international and internal standards aimed at the conservation of ecosystems and the living beings that inhabit them. Life is therefore the legal asset protected in this matter.
The Stockholm Declaration of 1972, made during the United Nations Conference on the Environment in that city, was the first document to collect the aforementioned ecological regulations, in turn collecting the principles on which the ecological regulations would be governed. It would be carried out later by the different states, making reference in these regulations to nature, natural resources, the environment and the action of people within ecosystems in general.
Difference between Environmental and Ecological Law
Although it is true that both environmental and ecological law are closely linked, since the norms regarding environmental defense and prevention are embedded in the same matter, there is something basic that differs them, since while environmental law It is aimed at the defense of the environment as a whole, ecological law adheres to the regulation for the defense of ecosystems and the beings that inhabit them, therefore and at a colloquial level, it could be said that while environmental law focuses on more global regulation, ecological law focuses on regulation at a more centralized level. Other key points of the difference between Environmental Law and Ecological Law are:
- While Ecological Law focuses on the relationships that living organisms and their habitat have, in order to protect the life of ecosystems as a whole as a whole and without focusing on the effects that environmental damage produces on man; Environmental Law refers to the protection of the environment in relation to one of the species, the human.
- Environmental Law focuses on the optimization of natural resources and protection of the environment through a set of legal norms that regulate the rational use, conservation of the environment and the prevention of damage to it. In Ecological Law, this environmental balance is also achieved through legal norms that regulate human activity, as well as its interaction with the different species that inhabit the ecosystem.
- Environmental Law focuses on aspects of well-being and quality of human life and, therefore, develops regulations that go beyond ecological aspects. In addition, the Environmental is constituted by an organic set of principles that are only included in the Organic Law of the Environment, comprising the conservation, defense and improvement of the environment; while the Ecological standards are scattered in public law.
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