Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Healthy and Sustainable environment to be a Universal right

For the first time, the United Nations body tasked with promoting and protecting human rights around the world has voted a resolution declaring access to a healthy and sustainable environment to be a universal right

The idea that an individual or group interest in environmental protection can be subsumed under a substantive ‘environmental human right,’ and that a human right to a clean and healthy environment either exists in existing international law or should be recognised as such. On the 8th of October, the UN Human Rights Council room in Geneva erupted in thunderous applause. Environmental campaigners and human rights advocates had been fighting for decades, and their efforts had finally paid off.

For the first time, the United Nations body tasked with promoting and protecting human rights around the world has voted a resolution declaring access to a healthy and sustainable environment to be a universal right. The text also encourages countries to collaborate with one another and other partners to bring this breakthrough to fruition. “That was perhaps the most thrilling moment I’ve ever had or will ever have professionally.” It was a huge win for the entire team. “To obtain this resolution, it required literally millions of people and years and years of work,” said David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, who was present when Fijian President Nazhat Shameem spoke.

“A spike in developing zoonotic diseases, the climate emergency, widespread toxic pollution, and severe biodiversity loss have propelled the future of the planet to the top of the world agenda,” a group of UN experts stated in a statement released on World Environment Day in June this year. “A spike in developing zoonotic diseases, the climate emergency, widespread toxic pollution, and severe biodiversity loss have propelled the future of the planet to the top of the world agenda,” a group of UN experts stated in a statement released on World Environment Day in June this year.

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