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Developing An Environmental Regulatory Model—Piecing Together the Growing Diversity of International Environmental Standards and Agendas

David Nelson, William B. Prince, International Resources Law II: A Blueprint for Mineral Development (1995)

The international environmental culture has given birth to its own lexicon, although may be less familiar to the mining industry: non-tariff barriers, Production Process Methods, sustainable development, NACE, NAFTA, GATT, bilateral agreements, forum non conveniens, multilateral lending institutions, NGO's, Basel Convention, NADBANK, Ok Tedi, ISO/EMAS/BSI. Exploring the meaning of this new international environmental language is one of the goals of this paper.

Developing a Model

Unlike the regulatory framework of the United States, this new international environmental language is born of hundreds of sources, all representing diverse cultures, political and human agendas and economic goals. What should be the standards for environmental policy in developing countries and how should they be determined? What policy tools — for example, direct regulation or economic incentives — are best suited for meeting these standards? How should rules be enforced?5

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The authors initially approached the task presented by the paper's title as one would a large picture puzzle, each piece having a distinct and identifiable place in the greater picture. The analogy was poorly conceived. The authors now candidly admit that the process of developing a “model” of international environmental standards and agendas is more like unraveling a colorful cloth — the