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The Founex Report - Institutional Arrangements

3.12. Once the developing countries have integrated the environmental concern in their framework of development planning, and undertaken studies of specific policy action required at the national level, concrete institutional arrangements would be needed to implement policies of environmental control. It is premature at this stage to spell out in great detail what institutional arrangements may be required under different conditions, nor can we say anything definite at present about the kind of special legislation that may have to be devised. A number of institutional arrangements have been suggested for the consideration of the developed countries including establishment of separate ministries or departments dealing with environmental control; setting-up of environmental standards and indicators and their monitoring by special institutions; proposals for establishing environment, technology and location assessment boards and for environmental quality management services; specific legislation to establish norms for the maintenance of clean air and clean water; new liability legislation regulating compensation for environmental disruption; enunciation of common or collective property rights with regard to such free and hitherto unprotected resources as air, water, soil, etc. Many of these institutional arrangements have greater relevance to the problems of the developed countries than to the developing societies though the latter can study the experience of the developed countries with the implementation of these proposals with some profit. As we have repeatedly stressed, the problems of environmental disruption are still a relatively small part of the development concern of the developing countries and it may be premature for many of them to divert their administrative energies to the establishment of new institutions or machinery; they can just as well try to integrate their environmental concern within the framework of existing machinery for planning and development. In any case, the developing countries will have to undertake their own experimentation and improvisations in devising their institutional arrangements for environmental control in the light of their own specific needs and requirements as these emerge in the course of development.

3.13. It has been our aim in this chapter to provide an overall framework within which the developing countries can consider their own specific national action for environmental control. As we said in the beginning, no general guidelines or specific prescriptions are possible, or indeed desirable, at this stage. The basis of national action is so much rooted in the varied conditions in each country that all we could do was to draw attention to certain overall considerations rather than to prescribe any specific policies. we recommend that further work should be done by the developing countries themselves on the range of national action which would suit their individual requirements, and that this be discussed at the level of regional commissions meetings and at the Stockholm Conference.