This introduction to the International Environmental Law presents the general sources constituting the framework of the international community action towards a sustainable development: the Stockholm Declaration, the Bruntland Report, the Rio Declaration 1992, Agenda 21, Johannesburg Declaration on
Sustainable Development 2002 and Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Rio+20 Declaration of 2012.
These conferences have had a seminal effect on European Environmental Law and that of Member States in terms of goals, action programmes and procedures. However none of them refers specifically to
environmental crime; although they address it indirectly since they deal with implementation and compliance with International Environmental Law agreements and soft law.
This introduction follows closely the developments of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 and its possible implications for environmental compliance and enforcement. The institutional changes that this Conference has brought about will also be examined since one of the themes that have
been proposed for the new United Nations Environment Assembly in its first session is the “Rule of Law, Illegal Wildlife Trade and Environmental Crime”.