Call for inputs on healthy ecosystems and human rights: sustaining the foundations of life

Deadline:31 May 2020
Issued by:UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Presented:To inform the Special Rapporteur's analysis and contribute to his report, which will be presented to the General Assembly in October 2020


"Goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors."
  • Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 2019 

There is now global agreement that human rights norms apply to a broad spectrum of environmental issues, including biological diversity (the full range of life on Earth) and healthy ecosystems (the foundation upon which all life depends). The Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Dr. David Boyd, is working to provide additional clarity regarding the substantive rights and obligations that are essential to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

He has submitted reports on clean air1, a safe climate2, and good practices on the promotion and implementation of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment3. He is now preparing a thematic report focusing on human rights and associated obligations related to healthy biodiversity and ecosystems. For that purpose, he is seeking inputs on the topic from States and stakeholders through responses to the brief questionnaire below.

Key questions and types of input sought

  1. Examples of ways in which declining biodiversity and degraded ecosystems are already having adverse impacts on human rights
  2. Specific obligations of States and responsibilities of businesses in addressing the main direct drivers of harm to biodiversity and ecosystems (land conversion, loss and degradation of habitat, etc.) and the indirect drivers (unsustainable production and consumption, rapid human population growth, etc.)
  3. Examples of constitutional provisions, legislation, regulations, policies, programs or other measures that employ a rights-based approach to prevent, reduce, or eliminate harm to biodiversity and ecosystems, or to restore and rehabilitate biodiversity and ecosystems

Access the questionnaire (English | French | Spanish)

How and where to submit inputs

We encourage you to please send your responses to the questionnaire in Word format by email. However, submissions will also be accepted via regular mail. The deadline for submission is 31 May 2020.

E-mail address
E-mail subject lineInput for healthy ecosystems and human rights report
Postal addressUN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Word limit2000 words, not including appendices or attachments
File FormatWord
Accepted languagesEnglish, French, Spanish

Inputs will be publicly available

Unless otherwise requested, all submissions will be made publicly available and posted within the Special Rapporteur’s area of the OHCHR website.

1. A/HRC/40/55
2. A/74/161
3. A/HRC/43/5

Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Recent Thematic Reports
Contact Information

Mr. David R. Boyd
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Palais des Nations, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix. 1211 Geneva 10
+41 22 917 9159
Follow @SRenvironment on Twitter

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