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Why educate yourself on these topics?

The world faces a triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and air, water and soil pollution. This crisis has considerable consequences on the lives, health and dignity of people. Every year, pollution is responsible for around 9 million premature deaths worldwide. Air pollution caused 6.7 million deaths in 2019, while water pollution was responsible for 1.4 million premature deaths and lead for 900,000 premature deaths. Hundreds of millions of people are suffering from disease, while billions face looming threats from climate change, manifested in more frequent and intense storms, droughts, wildfires and rising sea levels .


As David R. Boyd, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, has pointed out, history shows that human rights can make a real difference, with past movements having succeeded. to use the principles of liberty and equality to end slavery and bring about transformative societal change. Women, civil rights activists, indigenous peoples, and disability rights advocates have harnessed the power of human rights to catalyze meaningful transformations. Human rights have a strong record of bringing about transformative change in society, they are “among humanity’s most powerful engines of change.”

One might question why human rights are emphasized when humans are often the ones destroying nature. Why focus again on humans? This anthropocentric vision is actually a strategic choice. As David Boyd stated, "By bringing human rights into the equation, we now have institutions, processes, and courts that can say to governments that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and phasing out fossil fuels are not optional. These are obligations that include regulating businesses to ensure they respect the climate, the environment, and human rights.” This approach does not ignore or oppose the recent development of rights to Nature. Rather, it leverages the current momentum of environmental rights at both international and regional levels to maintain pressure on States and create strong obligations to protect the environment and repair the damage caused.


In this section are some of the most powerful environmental rights that should be recognized as fundamental human rights in a legally binding instrument to ensure better protection of the environment and people's health.

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