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34th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment

13 Mar 2017

STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION

34th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment

March 8, 2017

Geneva

Delivered by Hector Guerra, Office of the Permanent Observer to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, IDLO

Check against delivery

 

Mr. President,

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) commends the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment on the release of his report on human rights obligations relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

IDLO is pleased to support the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, including his work on this report, and agrees with the inherent interlinkages: that “biodiversity is necessary for the enjoyment of a wide range of human rights and the loss of biodiversity threatens the enjoyment of those rights”.

Despite near universal membership to the Convention on Biological Diversity with 196 Parties committed to its goals, ecosystem degradation continues at rapid rates. In the context of Agenda 2030 and “leaving no one behind”, it is important to emphasize that those who depend closely on ecosystems tend to have few alternatives when natural resources are lost.  The international community must do more to safeguard ecosystems and natural resources.

As the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to advancing the rule of law, IDLO has been working in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to raise awareness and develop the capacities of countries to strengthen the rule of law to achieve biodiversity goals. This has included:

  • Supporting governments around the world to establish the laws and institutions needed to implement the Nagoya Protocol, a treaty that promotes participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making processes and ensures they benefit equitably from the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.
  • Developing a Legal Assessment Tool on Biodiversity and Human Rights. The Tool will help stakeholders to identify a common understanding of obligations that can bring together ministries and civil society groups working to promote biodiversity and human rights.

Much work needs to be done to implement the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur’s report. IDLO remains committed to working closely with the Council and the Special Rapporteur to strengthen the contribution of the rule of law to a human rights based approach to biodiversity and ecosystems.

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The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.