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Overview of the Mandate


HR and Environment © EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL
A heavy haze of smog hangs over China's capital as traffic runs along a major thoroughfare in Beijing, China, 25 July 2008
© EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

Building on several other resolutions related to human rights and the environment and human rights and climate change, the Human Rights Council established the mandate for the Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment during its 19th session in Resolution 19/10. Mr. John Knox began working on the mandate in August 2012.

The establishing resolution requests the Independent Expert, among other things, to:

  • Study the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, in consultation with relevant stakeholders;

  • Identify, promote and exchange views on best practices relating to the use of human rights obligations and commitments to inform, support and strengthen environmental policy making, especially in the area of environmental protection;

  • Prepare a compendium of best practices;

  • Make recommendations, consistent with her or his mandate, that could help the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular Goal 7; and

  • To take into account the results of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), and to contribute a human rights perspective to follow-up processes.