Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Until the global community began to recognize the damage wrought by uninhibited economic development throughout most of this century, the developing countries of the Third World foresaw and aspired to a similar unimpeded advance toward economic prosperity. Instead, in an effort to establish international economic order and environmental conservation, the developed countries asked the developing countries to join them in championing environmental conservation at the expense of economic development. Despite the fundamental incompatibility between developmental and environmental goals, the developing countries reluctantly joined the environmental cause, hoping to secure a role for themselves as the creators of new international environmental laws. This Article describes how the political and economic interests of the developed countries ultimately define the contours of the developing countries' role. This Article explores just how far the united effort has come, particularly through the efforts of the United Nations. This Article also examines some of the legal obstacles faced in harmonizing the Third World's struggle to approach a developed standard of living with the need and desire to prevent repeating and exacerbating past environmental mistakes.