The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 19/10, requested the Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, Mr. John Knox, to 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 and furthermore, requested him to prepare a compendium of best practices.
Pursuant to this request, the Independent Expert submitted his compendium of good practices to the Human Rights Council at its 28th session in March 2015. The report describes good practices of Governments, international organizations, civil society organizations, corporations and others in the use of human rights obligations relating to the environment, including:
(a) procedural obligations to make environmental information public, to facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making, to protect rights of expression and association, and to provide access to legal remedies;
(b) substantive obligations, including obligations relating to non-state actors;
(c) obligations relating to transboundary harm; and
(d) obligations relating to those in vulnerable situations.
The compilation of good practices (A/HRC/28/61) is available in all UN languages: A C E F R S
A one-page summary for each good practice is available in English.
One-page summaries of the good practices are also available on a searchable, stand-alone website: http://environmentalrightsdatabase.org
The process of compiling good practices
The two principal sources for identifying good practices have been consultations hosted by the Independent Expert and UNEP, as well as other partners, and responses to a questionnaire seeking good practices that was sent to Governments, international organizations, civil society organizations, and other interested stakeholders. In addition, the Independent Expert identified good practices in his visits to Costa Rica and France. Finally, the Independent Expert sought good practices through additional contacts and research.
1. The Independent Expert sent out the questionnaire in the early summer of 2014.
- Good practice questionnaire (E F S)
- Stakeholders' responses to the questionnaire
- Nairobi, February 2013 (procedural obligations)
Expert Consultation on Procedural Rights and Obligations, convened by the Independent Expert, OHCHR and UNEP (programme, consultation report)
- Geneva, June 2013 (substantive obligations)
Consultation on the Relation between Environmental Protection and Substantive Human Rights as well as Extraterritorial Obligations, convened by the Independent Expert and OHCHR (concept note and programme)
- Panama City, July 2013 (obligations relating to vulnerable groups)
Regional Consultation on the Relation between Environmental Protection and Vulnerable Groups, convened by the Independent Expert, OHCHR and UNEP (programme, consultation report)
- Copenhagen, October 2013 (international institutions)
Consultation on the Relation between Environmental Protection and Human Rights Obligations, convened by the Independent Expert, OHCHR in collaboration with the Danish Institute of Human Rights and the Asia-Europe Foundation (concept note and programme)
- Johannesburg, January 2014 (constitutional environmental rights)
Expert Consultation on Constitutional Environmental Rights, convened by the Independent Expert, UNEP and OHCHR (programme) (consultation report)
- Bangkok, May 2014 (environmental human rights defenders)
Regional Consultation on Environmental Human Rights Defenders and Good Practices with a Focus on Asia, convened by the Independent Expert, UNEP and OHCHR (concept note, consultation report)
- Chamonix/Geneva, July 2014 (climate change)
Public consultation on the relationship between human rights obligations and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change (concept note, focus report on climate change)