WIT Press

Policies And Their Enforcement In The Process Towards Sustainability


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H. J. Holtzhausen


The dilemma of sustainability is that it is difficult to enforce, and in general its enforcement is perceived to be accompanied with a reduced quality of lifestyle and profit. The majority of people agree that sustainability is important, hence the development of a number of policies and protocols that advocate a reduction in the exploitation of natural resources. The huge problem faced by these initiatives is that it is not sufficiently enforced and that the main initiators for the environment, the United Nations (UN), are seen to be insufficiently empowered to use coercion. This paper discusses existing policies such as the Maastricht Treaty, The Brundtland report, The Kyoto Protocol and Agenda 21, to examine strategies to improve the earth’s environment. The influence of major agencies that assist with sustainability such as the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The World Energy Council and Major Financial institutions are discussed briefly. The enforcement of environmental issues remains a complex concern that is best achieved through participation and co-operation rather than coercion. The difficulties in enforcing environmental policies are discussed, as are ways of overcoming possible pitfalls. Keywords: social issues, environmental policies. 1 Introduction Sustainable development is a complex concept that aims to reconcile two apparent contradictory processes: economic development and environmental protection (Baker [1]). Policies that promote sustainable development will make


social issues, environmental policies.