Protecting the rights and interests of those who protect the environment goes hand in hand with protecting the environment.she SubmittedThe UN Human Rights CouncilGeneva hosts its annual, month-long session.
Speaking out can pose dangers
Ms. Bachelet explained how speaking out and standing up to environmental rights can be costly. Activists have been threatened with violence, killed, or harassed.
People who speak out against deforestation and extractives, loss in cultural heritage or identity, large-scale agribusinesses or development projects, including those intended for clean energy such as megadams, are particularly at risk She spoke.
Many environmental human rights defenders are also members of indigenous peoples or members of minority groups or local communities – or their representatives.
UNEPBerta Caceres from Honduras was assassinated March 2016. Her tireless advocacy for the rights of indigenous peoples was recognized posthumously by her UN Champion of the Earth award.
She said that entire communities might be intimidated or threatened if someone speaks on their behalf.
Ms. Bachelet emphasized that states have an obligation to respect the rights of environmental rights defenders and the communities they represent. Authorities must also ensure accountability and prevent attacks.
These actions are in accordance with a Council resolution last year Upholds the right of a healthy environmentShe said,
She added that it is crucial that States effectively regulate businesses, and hold them accountable for human right violations. Corporations, however, have a similar duty as stated in theUN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business.
Ms. Bachelet advised both governments and businesses to conduct human rights risk assessments before embarking on any climate project.
She said that if indigenous peoples’ right to be affected by these projects, it is essential that they consent in their free, informed, and prior manner.
International human rights law also protects the rights to information, participation, and justice, as well as those stipulated in environmental agreements.
These rights will protect the earth and those who defend it better, stated Ms. Bachelet.
UNICEF/Patricia WillocqWomen representing the Amigos de lago group, which fights to protect the rights of the lake Attlan are invited to participate in a reed-weaving workshop in Guatemala.
UN support worldwide
The UN rights chief also reported about some of the global work of her team.
She stated that my Office is committed worldwide to supporting States, Businesses, and Environmental Human Rights Defenders in all of their efforts for protecting our planet.
To help promote sustainable development, business and human right in the context of climate changes, over 200 human rights defenders have been trained in the Pacific region.
In Southeast Asia OHCHRMonitoring cases of harassment, arrests, killings, and disappearances by environmental human rights defenders. Working with governments to end punitive actions against activists.
Staff in Mexico and Kenya continue to support environmental human rights defenders as well their networks.
Visit UN NewsFor more information.