United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution that presses upon a need for a human-rights-based approach to conserve and restore natural spaces.
Arnold Kreilhuber, the Acting Director of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Law Division, said the resolution will help guard the environment and pave way for sustainable development.
He said that there is an undeniable link between human rights and the environment, and since 2011 we have noticed important developments regarding it, which are reflected in this resolution.
“First, the human rights obligations relating to the environment have become more accepted and clearer as we see that more than 155 countries have recognized some form of a path to a healthy environment,” he said.
“This can be seen in international agreements, their constitutions, legislation, and policies,” he added.
“Second, the resolution has brought forth advances in the need for a human-rights-based approach to conserve, restore and sustainably use biodiversity,” he maintained.
He called this resolution “a very important and timely” step as the world is gearing to adopt a Global Biodiversity Framework in 2021.
He was of the opinion that the amalgamation of environmental and human rights would serve as a key to ensure a healthy, biologically advanced and sustainable planet for the current and future generations and will help in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He also termed the signing of a joint statement by 69 states as a “remarkable achievement” as they expressed their intent to move forth with discussions for a resolution to a healthy environment
“This represents an unmatched level of support for the worldwide recognition of the right to a safe environment and a resolve to move on with the process of formalising this recognition,” he said. “An explicit, strong intent with 69 states as signatories, has never before been accomplished,” he added.