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Section VI. Ethical Directives Pertaining to the Environment


World Charter for Nature, General Assembly of the United Nations [1982]

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development [1992]

Conservation Policies of the Wildlife Society, The Wildlife Society [1988]

Code of Ethics for Members of the Society of American Foresters, Society of American Foresters [1976, amended 1986, 1992, 2000]

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Environmental Professionals, National Association of Environmental Professionals [1979, revised 1994]

Code of Ethics, National Environmental Health Association [revised 1992]

Bioethics refers not only to the ethics of health care but also to the ethics of the life sciences, which include ecology and environmental sciences. Enhancing the health of plants, animals, and the entire biosphere has inherent moral value; it is also crucial for the protection and promotion of human health and well-being, which depend upon a healthy environment. Whether the environment is perceived to have intrinsic value, instrumental value, or both, society increasingly recognizes moral duties to preserve and nurture it and to foster a health-promoting relationship between humans and their environment. Many countries have laws and regulations designed to protect the environment and its resources through limitations on the emissions of industrial pollutants, hazardous waste disposal, recycling programs, and conservation policy.

The documents in this section fall into two categories: policy and professional conduct. They are issued both by professional groups and by a nonprofessional body, the United Nations. The editors have not attempted to include any of the myriad national and international laws and regulations pertaining to the environment, opting instead for more general policy statements.

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