Core Environmental Principles

Core Environmental Principles:


The Environmental Law Centre recognizes several environmental principles that are required for strong and effective environmental laws, policies and legal processes.

These core environmental principles are:


• sustainability,
• precautionary principle,
• pollution prevention,
• polluter pays,
• cumulative impacts,
• intergenerational equity and
• public participation.


Environmental laws, policies and processes must be:

• constantly improving,
• reflective of and contributing to evidence-based best practices,
• open, transparent and accountable.


Attached below, you can download a document that provides definitions of the core environmental principles adopted by the ELC in its strategic plan. This document is intended only to provide definitions of the principles; it does not provide analysis of how successfully the core environmental principles have been implemented in Alberta. A brief survey of case-law and statutes (federal and Alberta) that have referenced the core environmental principles is also included for your reference.


Click here to read the document. (pdf)

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