Official APEC Documents
Framework of Principles for Integrating Economy and Environment in APEC
1994 APEC Environment Ministerial
The challenge of sustainable development requires integration of economy and environment in all sectors and at all levels.
The experience of APEC members is that a market economy can be a very efficient and flexible means of allocating resources to meet individual preferences. Competitive market economies make for a dynamic and innovative society.
But the market will not necessarily deliver other objectives that society may have, such as meeting the basic needs of all citizens, environmental quality, and access to resources for future generations.
In seeking to reconcile the objectives of economic growth and efficiency with improved environmental outcomes, the following principles could be taken into consideration by member economies to achieve sustainable development.
Principle: Sustainable Development
Member economies should promote sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people. All the possible measures should be seriously considered to bring about a society where “…environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it” (from Principle 4, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development).
Member economies should promote the complementary principles of reduction of poverty and improvement of the environment, consistent with Principle 5 of the Rio Declaration.
Members should “endeavor to promote the internalisation of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.” (Principle 16, Rio Declaration)
Principle: Science and Research
Scientific research should be fostered to increase the community’s understanding of ecological systems, and their interactions with the economy, employment and human communities.
Principle: Technology Transfer
Member economies should cooperate to strengthen capacity-building for sustainable development through exchanges of scientific and technical knowledge. They should enhance the development and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies, consistent with Chapter 34 of Agenda 21.
Principle: The Precautionary Approach
Member economies should, according to their capabilities, widely apply the precautionary approach in accordance with Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration: “…Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”.
Principle: Trade and the Environment
Member economies should support multilateral efforts to make trade and environment policies mutually supportive, consistent with Principle 12 and other relevant principles of the Rio Declaration.
Principle: Environmental Education and Information
Member economies, industry, consumer groups and environmental groups should provide to all citizens information and educational opportunities that will enhance informed choices that affect the environment.
Principle: Financing for Sustainable Development
Member economies should cooperate to meet the goal of mobilising financial resources for sustainable development, including the exploration of innovative approaches to fund raising schemes and mechanisms, taking into account conditions and priorities of APEC members.
Principle: Role of APEC
APEC members should, in promoting regional cooperation, make the best use of existing multilateral and bilateral fora, and activities of APEC to attain sustainable development. These fora and activities have contributed to the implementation of Agenda 21 in the fields of environmental priority setting, accumulation of scientific knowledge, and enhancement of capacity building. APEC members should seek appropriate ways and means by which APEC can add concrete value to these ongoing activities, avoiding duplication of functions.
Meetings of APEC ministers responsible for the environment should be held on an ad hoc basis as the necessity arises.
APEC members should consider ways to better incorporate sustainable development into the work of APEC Working Groups and Committees, where relevant, including consideration of these issues at the levels of Senior Officials Meetings and APEC Ministerial Meetings.
APEC members should achieve the integration of economy and environment considerations through conscious efforts to incorporate environmental concerns into decision making for sustainable development at all levels.
APEC Ministers responsible for the Environment
March 25, 1994