Precautionary Approach

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992 states that: “[i]n order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall be not used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” Principle 15, Rio Declaration. Since then the precautionary approach has been incorporated into several international treaties to which the United States is party, including:

The precautionary approach has also been incorporated into many more regional agreements on biodiversity, fisheries, and marine pollution.
Additional reference information: