Access information on Multilateral Environmental Agreements

  • Environmental Governance

Definition(s)

The no-harm rule is a widely recognised principle of customary international law whereby a State is duty-bound to prevent, reduce and control the risk of environmental harm to other states(Ian Brownlie in: Principles of Public International Law, 7th ed., 2008, pp.275-285; Patricia Birnie, Alan Boyle and Catherine Redgwell in: International Law and the Environment, 3rd ed., Oxford 2009, pp.143-152.
States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.(Rio Principle 6)