" People protect what they love. " (Jacques-Yves Cousteau).
To protect our environment, we need a new concept: The Rights of Future Generations. Today, these rights have no laws, no lawyers, no courts! There are no universally recognized international standards for air and water, the two fluids of life that are most threatened, and whose quality directly influences human health and dignity. Thus, to ensure that the Rights of Future Generations are respected, we need to institute an International Bureau of Standards for air and water as well as an International Court of the Environment. A petition is downloadable in pdf.
An International Bureau of Standards for air and water
Establishing such an institution will be a long and difficult task because States do not follow the same norms. Furthermore, some States would need to make substantial investments and renounce certain privileges of national sovereignty.
An International Court of the Environment
Such a court is indispensable if the Rights of Future Generations are to be protected. It would be empowered to render judgments in conflicts involving individuals, enterprises, non-governmental organizations and States. Launched by Italian Supreme Court Judge Amedeo Postiglione (ICEF – International Court of Environment Foundation), this project, which we joined in 2001, has already brought in 30,000 petition signatures in France.
The Cousteau Society participated in the International Conference on the Protection and the Sustainable Development of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Environment held in Venice in 2007, organized by Judge Amedeo Postiglione in the context of his pursuit of the implementation of a permanent International Court of Environment.
In the meantime, we encourage potential complainants to seek resolution by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. Essentially, this Court has just been granted the tools necessary to arbitrate disputes linked to the environment and/or natural resources. We have made our vessel Alcyone available to the Court to serve as a scientific base for disputes concerning the seas and/or oceans. The Permanent Court of Arbitration and The Cousteau Society signed an agreement to this effect in July, 2001.