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Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
The mandate on human rights and the environment exists to:
The Human Rights Council established the mandate for the Independent Expert on human rights and the environment in 2012 (resolution 19/10). Mr. John Knox was appointed the first Independent Expert on human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment for a three year term. His mandate was further extended in March 2015 as a Special Rapporteur for another three years (resolution 28/11). In March 2018, the Human Rights Council further extended the mandate (resolution 37/8) and appointed Mr. David. R. Boyd as the Special Rapporteur for three years. In March 2021 the Human Rights Council extended the mandate for another three years (resolution 46/7).
David R. Boyd is an associate professor of law, policy, and sustainability at the University of British Columbia. He has a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from UBC, a law degree from the University of Toronto, and a business degree from the University of Alberta. His career has included serving as the executive director of Ecojustice, appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada, and working as a special advisor on sustainability for Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
For the first time in its history, the United Nations has recognized that everyone, everywhere, has the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Resolutions from the Human Rights Council in 2021 (A/HRC/RES/48/13) and the General Assembly in 2022 (A/RES/76/300)add this fundamental human right to the library of internationally recognized rights. As humanity confronts an unprecedented planetary crisis, it is our genuine hope that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment will serve as a catalyst for systemic and transformative changes to produce a just and sustainable future in harmony with nature.
A/HRC/37/59: Framework Principles
These 16 principles set out the basic obligations of States under human rights law as they relate to the enjoyment of a safe and healthy environment.
A/HRC/43/53: Good practices on the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
The Special Rapporteur provides a study on good practices in the implementation and promotion of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
Materials on the substantive elements of the right to a healthy environment based on thematic reports to HRC and GA
Healthy and sustainable food
Summary of A/76/179
Summary of A/HRC/49/53
Mr. David R. Boyd
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
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