Sustainable Tourism Law

Sustainability: the path from Stockholm to the European Charter for Sustainable and Responsible Tourism Carlos Torres I.1. THE PATH FROM STOCKHOLM TO JOHANNESBURG I .1.1. The pioneering Stockholm Conference Facing the devastating effects of the industrial activity of the great powers after the Second World War, civil society and the political class have become gradually aware of the severe environmental degradation and the urgent need to protect natural resources. In the sixties, the United Nations was not prepared to deal with certain specific intersectional and transnational issues resulting fromthe unprecedented scientific and technological development after the war. Therefore, one of the negative consequences of the development was environmental problems. This fundamental issue was included in the General Assembly agenda in 1968 by Sweden, through its representative in the United Nations, Sverker Åström. A global action was proposed to identify the environmental issues that needed international cooperation through an excellent diplomatic operation to overcome the resistance of the developed nations, mainly the Western European ones. They defended the idea that sectoral agencies should take care of environmental issues. This model conference proposal became a success, although, even today, it is a fact that an integrated action and a holistic vision of the problem have yet to be achieved. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, organized in Stockholmfrom5to16June1972, usuallyreferredtoas theStockholmConference, was responsible for the recognition among different international bodies of the individual rights to a dignified environmental quality and to establish the standards whereby Nations can create and reach a rational use of natural resources. Only One Earth was the Conference’s theme, a revolutionary concept for the time, and one that enjoys worldwide visibility and consensus nowadays.