GSS Books‎ > ‎Losing Biodiversity‎ > ‎7. Global Ocean‎ > ‎

Cousteau's Petition

International Bill of Environmental Rights for Future Generations

More than 9 million people in more than 70 countries have signed Cousteau's "Petition for the Rights of Future Generations."

Article 1.
Future generations have a right to an uncontaminated and undamaged earth and to its enjoyment as the ground of human history, of culture, and of the social bonds that make each generation and individual a member of one human family.

Article 2.
Each generation, sharing in the estate and heritage of the earth, has a duty as trustee for future generations to prevent irreversible and irreparable harm to life on earth and to human freedom and dignity

Article 3.
It is, therefore, the paramount responsibility of each generation to maintain a constantly vigilant and prudential assessment of technological disturbances and modifications adversely affecting life on earth, the balance of nature, and the evolution of humanity in order to protect the rights of future generations.

Article 4. 
All appropriate measures, including education, research, and legislation, shall be taken to guarantee these rights and to ensure that they not be sacrificed for present expediences and conveniences.

Article 5.
Governments, non-governmental organizations and the individuals urged, therefore, imaginatively to implement these principles, as if in the very presense of those future generations whose rights we seek to establish and perpetuate.

Learn more about the Petition from the Cousteau Foundation.