The EMG’s support for a more coherent, consistent and rights-based approach by the UN system to human rights and the environment responds to the UN Secretary-General’s Call to Action on Human Rights. The importance of this issue was further highlighted in October 2021 when the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution recognizing, for the first time, that a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right.
Established in 2020 and led by OHCHR, UNDP and UNEP, the Issue Management Group (IMG) on Human Rights and the Environment (Terms of Reference) aims to integrate the human right to a healthy environment into the work of the UN to ensure a coherent and rights-based approach to environmental action throughout the UN system.
Some of the IMG’s ongoing work includes developing a common narrative on human rights and the environment in a development context. The Group plans to produce guidance materials on integrating human rights into national-level actions on climate change, biodiversity and pollution. Based on a survey of its members, the IMG is developing “deep dive” training webinars covering the right to a healthy environment, climate change, biodiversity and pollution. The Group is also promoting integration of human rights into multilateral environmental agreements by engaging with key intergovernmental negotiations related to climate change, biodiversity, land and other critical environmental issues (see Strategy for Engagement with the 26th CoP).
The work of the IMG draws on the findings of relevant EMG processes, initiatives, and nexus dialogues, including: the nexus dialogues on the human right to a healthy environment organized on 24 July and 22 September 2020, a Workshop held on 23 September 2020 with EMG focal points, and the ongoing EMG Consultative Processes on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; on Sustainable Infrastructure; and on COVID-19 and the environment.
The 4th meeting of the IMG on Human Rights and the Environment held on Wednesday, 13th October, from 2 pm to 3.30 pm Geneva Time. The purpose of the meeting is to a) review the outcomes of the EMG 27th Senior Officials Meeting as far as they relate to the work of the IMG and b) provide an opportunity for updates on and discussion of the activities taking place under each of the three Focus Areas set out in the work plan.
The 3rd meeting of the IMG on Human Rights and the Environment held on Wednesday, 21 July from 3.00pm – 4.30pm Geneva Time. The purpose of the meeting is to a) present the activities taking place under each of the three Focus Areas set out in the work plan and b) decide on the next steps following the mid-term meeting of the technical segment of the EMG Senior Officials Meeting and in preparation for the 27th Senior Officials Meeting.
The 2nd meeting of the IMG on Human Rights and the Environment held on Tuesday, 20 April from 3.00pm – 4.30pm Geneva Time. The purpose of the meeting is to a) present an initial structure of deliverables and work under the three action areas outlined above and b) decide on next steps and coordination structure for the respective action areas.
The first meeting of the IMG on Human Rights and the Environment held on Wednesday, 17 February from 3.00pm – 4.30pm Geneva Time. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and agree on the IMG’s Terms of Reference, including its scope and deliverables.