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Sierra Club Conservation Policies

Environmental Security

The Sierra Club resolves that:

1. A secure and sustainable global environment is an intrinsic part of universal human rights and is indispensable to a secure society. The security of that right and of all nations depends on environmentally sustainable economic, cultural, and political structures and policies.

2. U.S. fiscal and foreign policy should provide for the environmental dimensions of national and international security, without which the U.S. and the world will be less secure regardless of military strength and preparation.

3. Investments in environmental security should begin to replace new military expenditures, consistent with existing Club policies and whenever feasible through arms control negotiations or other international agreements. (Relevant policies include: no funding of first-strike, destabilizing weapons systems; a multilateral comprehensive test ban and freeze on nuclear weapons production and deployment; and no more than limited research on space-based weapons.

4. Adequate planning and funding should be provided for economic conversion and diversification, with an emphasis on applying human, financial and technological resources toward environmentally beneficial programs, including pollution control and renewable energy).

5. International negotiations should be directed at reducing threats to environmental security worldwide, by limiting the pollution of transnational and global resources, and by the dedication of financial and technological resources to assist developing nations in the implementation of environmentally sustainable development strategies.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, September 15-16, 1990; amended November 21, 2002

IUCN Conservation and Peace Resolution

The Sierra Club supports and endorses the following resolution on Conservation and Peace adopted by the 15th Session of the General Assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in October 1981:

Recalling that the central message of the World Conservation Strategy is that conservation of nature must be made an integral part of the development process;

Noting that many aspects of nature conservation can only be effectively addressed through international cooperation among States;

Recognizing that this international cooperation is best promoted when mankind is at peace with itself;

Recognizing also principles and recommendations adopted by the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment (1972), Resolution 35/7 of the 35th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Charter of Nature and on the Historic Responsibility of States for the Preservation of Nature for Present and Future Generations, and the World Conservation Strategy;

Concerned that man's future and that of his environment is endangered by war and other hostile actions that negatively offset the economic and ecological situation, including

  • diverting large quantities of monetary and natural resources for armaments,
  • discharging toxic and radioactive waste in the human environment,
  • destroying the habitats that are necessary for species conservation;

Recalling international agreements concerning weapons of mass destruction on the sea bed; the prohibition of bacteriological and toxic weapons; and the prohibition of military and other hostile use of environmental modification techniques;

The General Assembly of IUCN, at its 15th Session in Christchurch, New Zealand, 11-23 October 1981:

Affirms that peace is a contributory condition to the conservation of nature, just as conservation itself contributes to peace through the proper and ecologically sound use of natural resources;

Calls upon all States to pursue diligently international discussions in the United Nations and other fora dedicated to the maintenance of peace and security within and between all States;

Further calls upon all governments to give full effect to existing international agreements that contribute to the maintenance of peace and the reduction of global armaments.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, November 21-22, 1981

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