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*This document is based on the syllabus

Chapter I

OVERVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS, CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS, LAWS, RULES AND


REGULATONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

1. International covenants and conventions

a. 1972 Stockholm Declaration regarded as the foundation of modern international


environment law. The first widely accepted international effort to address
environmental issues.

b. Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development recognizing the integral and
interdependent nature of the Earth, the nations meeting at the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro adopted a set of principles to guide future developments:
o Human beings are at the center of concerns for sustainable development. They
are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
o States have the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their
own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure
activities within their own jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the
environment of other States.
o Nations shall develop international laws to provide compensation for damage
that activities under their control cause to areas beyond their borders.
o Nations shall use the precautionary approach to protect the environment.
Where there are threats or irreversible damage, scientific uncertainty shall not
be used to postpone cost-effective measures to prevent environmental
degradation.
o Nations shall cooperate to conserve, protect, and restore the health and
integrity of the Earths ecosystem.
o Nations shall enact effective environmental laws and develop national law
regarding liability for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage.
o The polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution.
o Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned
citizens. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation
by making environmental information widely available.
o Nations should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and
consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.

c. Kyoto Protocol this treaty extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases
emissions, based on the premise that: (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2
emissions have caused it. It implements the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global
warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to a level that
would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The
Philippines signed the treaty on April 15, 1988 and ratified it on Nov. 20, 2003.
d. UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Also called the Law of the Sea
Convention; UNCLOS is the international agreement that resulted from the third UN
Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) which took place between 1973 and
1982. The UNCLOS defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their
use of the worlds oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and
the management of marine natural resources. UNCLOSE III creates a sui generis
maritime space the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), granting new rights to coastal
States to exclusively exploit the resources found within this zone up to 200 nautical
miles.
PH-China Sea Dispute Award Permanent Court of Arbitration declared that
certain sea areas like the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal are within the
EEZ of the Philippines. Chinas claims of historic rights have no legal basis and
were incompatible and extinguished by the economic zones as provided for in
the UNCLOS.

e. Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Environment concluded in 1985, it is a


framework agreement in which the States agree to cooperate in relevant research and
scientific assessments of the Ozone problem, to exchange information and to adopt
appropriate measures to prevent activities that harm the ozone layer.

f. Basel Convention this treaty is designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste
between nations and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from
developed to less developed countries.

g. Paris Summit the agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to
avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees C.

2. Constitutional Provisions

a. Art. I National Territory The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago,
with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which
the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and
aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves,
and other submarine areas. The waters around, between and connecting the islands of
the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal
waters of the Philippines.

b. Art. II, Sec. 15 Right to Health The State shall protect and promote the right to
health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.

c. Art. II, Sec. 16 Right to a balanced and healthful ecology The State shall protect and
advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the
rhythm and harmony of nature.

d. Art. XII, Sec. 2 State ownership of lands and all other natural resources (Regalian
Doctrine) All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other
mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and
fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With exception of
agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration,
development and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and
supervision of the State.

The State shall protect the nations maritime wealth in its archipelagic waters,
territorial sea and exclusive economic zone and reserve its use and enjoyment
exclusively to Filipino citizens.

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by


Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence
fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays and lagoons.

e. Art. XII, Sec. 5 Right of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral domains
and lands The State, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national
development policies and programs, shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural
communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-
being.
The Congress may provide for the applicability of customary laws governing
property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral
domain.

f. Art. III, Sec. 7 Rights of subsistence fishermen to the use of marine and fishing
resources The State shall protect the rights of subsistence fishermen, especially of
local communities, to the preferential use of the communal marine and fishing
resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support to such fishermen through
appropriate technology and research, adequate financial, production, and marketing
assistance and other services. The State shall also protect, develop, and conserve such
resources. The protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence
fishermen against foreign intrusions. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their
labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources.

3. Laws and administrative issuances

a. Philippine Environmental Policy mandated the formulation of an intensive integrated


program of environmental protection that will bring about a concerted effort towards
protection of the entire spectrum of the environment through a requirement of
environmental impact assessments and statements

b. Philippine Environment Code - provides for the development of standards and


management framework for the following areas of concern, air quality management,
water quality management, and land use management

c. National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act provides for the integrated
management of all declared protected areas in the country
d. Revised Forestry Code the governing law on forestry. Its basic policy is that the
multiple uses of forestlands shall be oriented to the development and progress
requirements of the country

e. Philippine Fisheries Code the basic law on fisheries management and utilization. Its
provisions apply in all Philippine waters and all other waters over which the Philippines
has sovereignty and jurisdiction, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf and
aquatic and fishery resources, whether inland, coastal or offshore

f. Indigenous Peoples Rights Act embodies the policy of the State to recognize,
promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and
domains and ensure cultural integrity

g. Philippine Clean Air Act the law provides for a national program of air pollution
management and prevention, and active public participation in air quality planning and
monitoring

h. Philippine Clean Water Act- its focus is to streamline processes and procedures in the
prevention, control, and abatement of pollution of the countrys water resources

i. Ecological Solid Waste Management Act- aims to adopt a systematic, comprehensive


and ecological solid waste management program to ensure protection of public health
and environment, set guidelines for solid waste avoidance and volume reduction, and
ensure the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of
solid waste

j. Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection Act declares as a policy of the State to
conserve the countrys wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainability with the
objective of promoting ecological balance and biological diversity

k. Laguna Lake Development Authority the governments policy to lead, promote, and
accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the
surrounding provinces, cities, and towns

l. Environment Impact Statement System planning tool to avoid or minimize adverse


environmental impacts of projects of government and private entities. The
commencement of every environmentally critical project area has to be preceded by an
Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC)

m. Biofuels Act provides for the mandatory use of biofuels to help lessen emission of
greenhouse gases that greatly contribute to global warming

n. Climate Change Act of 2009 establishes a Climate Commission which shall be the
policy-making body of the government tasked to coordinate, monitor, ad evaluate the
programs and action plans relating to climate change
o. Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 institutionalizes
arrangements and measures for reducing disaster risks, including projected climate risks
and enhances disaster preparedness and response capabilities at all levels

p. Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act seeks to regulate or
prohibit the importation, use, and disposal of chemical substances that present
unreasonable risk to health or the environment, and the entry of nuclear wastes and
their disposal into Philippine territorial limits

q. Chain Saw Act regulates ownership, possession, sale, importation and use of chain
saws

r. National Caves and Cave Resource Management Act aims to conserve, protect, and
manage caves and cave resources as part of the countrys natural wealth