III. ANALYSIS OF THE TYPES OF MEASURES BEING USED AT THE SECTOR LEVEL INTEGRATE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS INTO THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
D. Proposed environmental regulation framework and underlying principles
Following a review of its environmental management and regulation systems, the Department of Environment and Conservation recently proposed a new framework (Department of Environment and Conservation, 1996). Underlying the new approach is the precautionary principle which refers to the obligation of the country to address the causes of environmental degradation when there is evidence that a threat of serious or irreversible harm may be caused, even in cases where scientific evidence in insufficient to prove that the damage may occur. As already discussed above, there is overlap among the existing environmental regulatory systems. Also the potential exists for conflicts between the approval conditions imposed by the different systems. The current proposal seeks to streamline and integrate the existing regulatory systems into one environmental regulation framework. The underlying goal is to achieve an appropriate balance between the goals and objectives of development and those which promote the protection of the environment.