Modern international concerns derive from the desire to preserve and protect the order of the ecosphere and to bring human activities into harmony with ecological ones. The need for vigorous initiatives throughout the world to cope with environmental degradation has been voiced by the international Biosphere Conference convened in 1968 in Paris. It states:
Although some of the changes in the environment have been taking place for decades or longer, they seem to have reached a threshold of criticalness, as in the case of air, soil, and water pollution in industrial countries: these problems are now producing concern and a popular demand for correction. Parallel with this concern is the realization that ways of developing and using natural resources must be changed from single purpose efforts, both public and private, with little regard for attendant consequences, to other uses or resources and wider social goals . . . (human exploitation of the earth) must give way to the recognition that the biosphere is a system all of which is widely affected by action on any part of it.
In going from the rhetoric of environmental concerns to the realities of environmental laws, the global community faces problems. There are at least two such key problems. First, as alluded to in previous chapters, scientific uncertainty permeates environmental decision-making. Second, although international law is a