More than 100 civil society organizations from around the world call on the United Nations to add a new article to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – enshrining a universal right to a healthy natural environment. If successful, this amendment would be the first addition to the declaration since it came to life in 1948.
The #1Planet1Right campaign is dedicated to establishing this new human right, and is led by the world’s largest conservation partnership, BirdLife International. Joining them are other civil society organisations such as ClientEarth and the Global Pact for Environment.
Dr. David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment has also endorsed the campaign. #1Planet1Right sent a letter to António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, on Earth Day officially making the request for a new human right, and will now continue putting pressure on the UN by launching a global petition.
“We join the BirdLife partnership in a demand that the United Nations recognize a new human right: the right to a healthy natural environment,” said Haribon Foundation in a statement, BirdLife International partner in the Philippines.
According to WHO, 23% of global deaths are linked to the damage and destruction of our natural environment, while hundreds of millions of people suffer from illnesses related to unhealthy and unnatural environments.
Climate change directly results in more frequent and intense storms, droughts, wildfires and rising sea levels, which in turn threaten the lives of billions of people. The COVID-19 pandemic has its roots in habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade. This new human right can help ensure that the global green recovery the world needs to rebuild society following the pandemic takes both the biodiversity and the climate emergencies into account.
The #1Planet1Right campaign calls on the UN to vote to include the right to a healthy natural environment at the UN Human Rights Council, in the UN General Assembly and as an urgent topic at the UN Summit on Biodiversity in mid-September 2020, in order to ultimately include the right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by 2023.
To sign the global petition, visit haribon.org.ph/healthy-planet-a-human-right today.