The United Nations Conference on Human Environment 1972 was a remarkable achievement as 114 participating nations agreed generally on a declaration of principles and an action plan. After an initial conflict between the need to prevent pollution and conserve nature on the one hand, and the stress on social and economic development on the other, the conference evolved the concept that environmental protection was an essential element of social and economic development.

It was agreed that environmental protection and development were inseparable, and were, in fact, two sides of the same coin. The Stockholm Declaration emphasizes that the world has just one environment. It states that man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well - being. Man bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present generations.

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