Advancing environmental rights


“We are all responsible for upholding environmental rights and shining a spotlight on those fighting to defend them” – Erik Solheim, Head, UN Environment.

Environmental sustainability and human rights are closely intertwined, making the environment a pre-requisite for enjoyment of human rights. Failure to protect the environment or sustainable use of natural resources is failure to protect human rights.

The right to a healthy environment is now recognized in many national constitutions and regional legal instruments, with over 100 countries recognizing some form of environmental rights since the mid-1970s. About two thirds of the constitutional rights refer to a healthy environment; alternative formulations include rights to a clean, safe, favorable or wholesome environment.

Click here to find out more about the launch of the Environmental Rights Initiative.

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UN’s Environmental Rights Initiative

This Initiative represents the next phase of UN Environment’s work on human rights and the environment. The Initiative will bring environmental protection nearer to the people by helping them to better understand their…

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Know your rights


Join the coalition of environmental rights champions

  • Civil Society
  • Business
  • Governments


Contact us

Nairobi office:

Panama office:

Bangkok office: