At the dawn of the 20th century, global environmental concerns were far from the international agenda. The concept of the environment as an interconnected ecological system or the biosphere as a planetary life support system was not yet part of international discourse. However, in the following decades, a series of events and publications, including Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book “Silent Spring” in 1962, set the stage for the emergence of the modern environmental movement.
This blog post traces the historical development of international environmental law and explores key milestones and agreements that have shaped the field.
Early Initiatives (1867-1902): Protecting Birds and Fishes
Environmental Developments (1909-1945): Pollution and Preservation
However, this period lacked institutional arrangements for administering and enforcing environmental provisions.
Post-World War II Developments (1945 Onwards): Transboundary Injuries and Global Agreements
Sources of International Environmental Law
From the publication of “Silent Spring” to the signing of global agreements like the Paris Agreement, the evolution of international environmental law reflects humanity’s growing awareness of the need for environmental protection and sustainable practices. Today, this field continues to evolve as nations cooperate to address the pressing environmental challenges of our time.