Thursday, November 5, 2009
Review: The Precautionary Principle
When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof that the activity (such as on-going emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere) will not harm human health or damage the environment. The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.