Prof Morgera contributes to new report on biodiversity by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment

On 3rd March 2020, Professor Elisa Morgera was invited to contribute to a consultation held by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment, Dr. David R. Boyd to provide input for his next annual report to the UN General Assembly in late 2020, which will focus on biodiversity and human rights. In this report, the UN Special Rapporteur intends to build upon his predecessor Professor John Knox’s work by further examining the substantive components of the right to a healthy environment relating to healthy ecosystems and biodiversity.

The meeting aimed to: continue to clarify the linkages between biodiversity and human rights; identify gaps and challenges relating to existing and proposed global biodiversity targets; identify additional good practices at the international, regional, national, and sub-national levels; discuss how to enable States to fulfil their human rights obligations through biodiversity-related laws, policies and programmes; and examine the obligations of businesses related to protecting human rights harmed by the depletion or degradation of healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. The meeting also provided an opportunity for participants to exchange on common challenges and lessons learned; and discuss entry points for human rights in international biodiversity-related meetings in 2020 and beyond. The next phase of the report preparation will include online consultations with experts and stakeholders.

Policy-relevant research

The research undertaken under the BENELEX project already contributed to the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, and the second report on human rights and biodiversity can provide an opportunity also for research under the One Ocean Hub to contribute. This research has also benefitted the process in Scotland on human rights leadership and the human right to a healthy environment.