Environmental Law: Natural and Unnatural Environment

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INTRODUCTION The environment consists of ‘all, or any, of the following media, namely, the air, water and land’ as defined by the Environmental Protection Act of 1990, Section 1, of The United Kingdom (Kidd, 1997). The environment can thus be divided into three main components namely terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric. The environment can be further divided in to two classes, natural and unnatural environment. The natural environment refers to and includes all living organisms and nonliving things which occur naturally in the environment; as well as the interaction between these three components and which the earth sustains. The health of all three these components play a vital role in sustaining the earth’s organisms. The unnatural or built environment refers to an environment created by the hand and mind of man, one which is not of the natural environment. DEFINITION When each word is considered individually, Environmental Law refers to the legal services that are provided for environmental matters. In more detail the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines Environmental law as “a body of law, which is a system of complex and interlocking statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies which seek to protect the natural environment which may be affected, impacted or endangered by human activities”. To briefly discuss, there are numerous different sources of environmental law, these include International law; Common law; The Constitution; Statute law; Custom; and African customary law (Glazewski, 2003). International law pertains to international conventions and international customary laws and is regarded as a distinct branch of international law. Common law pertains to the modern law... ... middle of paper ... ...e Polluter Pays Principle and Environmental Liability in South Africa. Mini-dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Magister Legum in Imports and Exports. North-West University, South Africa. National Registry of Environmental professionals (NREP). https://www.nrep.org/history.php accessed on April 12, 2014. Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC). http://www.nrdc.org/reference/laws.asp accessed on April 12, 2014. Rabie, M. A. 1976. South African Environmental Legislation. Vol.1. Institute of Foreign and Comparative Law, University of South Africa, University of South Africa. 199pp. Tarlock, A. D. History of Environmental Law. Environmental Law and Their Enforcement, Vol. 1. World Nuclear Association (WNA). http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident/ accessed on April 12, 2014.

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