The international community is more than ever before faced with environmental issues that attract interdisciplinary attention: deforestation, global warming, environmental pollution, species extinctions and desertification, among others. Man’s development over the centuries has been such that he cannot but rely on the use of the environment. Economic, scientific and technological developments take place in space and time. The spatio-temporal nature of man’s development generates concerns about human rights vis-à-vis the environment. Through the use of conceptual analysis the study critically examines the concepts ‘environmental justice’ and ‘sustainable development’. The study establishes that meaningful development implies, inter alia, respect for the environment and respect for the rights man has over the environment. Global happiness, the study concludes, is attainable only in an atmosphere of inter-state understanding that sustaining the environment imply respecting rights to the environment. Thus, the study recommends, among others, that efforts at sustainable development be founded on environmental justice.
Key words: Environment, rights, environmental justice, sustainable development.
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