Advancing environmental rights

Bringing environmental protection nearer to the people 

Environmental rights have grown more rapidly than any other human right.Tragically, though the right to a healthy environment is enshrined in over 100 constitutions, four people are killed a week protecting this right- while many more are harassed, intimidated and forced from their lands. Around 40 - 50 percent of the 197 environmental defenders killed in 2016 came from indigenous and local communities. Women environmental defenders are especially vulnerable.

UN Environment  supports the upholding of environmental rights through The Environmental Rights Initiative; which is a coalition of state and non-state actors united to promote, protect, and respect environmental rights.

What are Environmental Rights?

Who are Environmental Defenders?

Read UN Environment's Defenders Policy

Learn more about the Environmental Rights Initiative


Environmental Rights Initiative - David Boyd video message

September 2018. David R. Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment delivers a video message for the Environmental Rights Initiative in Brazil.


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