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Joint Statement of United Nations Entities on the Right To Healthy Environment

March 12, 2021 |

This statement was originally published on UNEP

“The right to a healthy environment is recognized by over 150 UN member states, but it has not been formally recognized at the global level thereby delaying achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, exacerbating inequalities, and creating protection gaps, especially for environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women, and indigenous peoples who often have been and continue to be agents of change for safeguarding the environment.

We are faced with a triple environmental crisis: climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution. Rights of present and future generations depend on a healthy environment. The global recognition of the right to a healthy environment will support efforts to leave no one behind, ensure a just transition to an environmentally healthy and socially equitable world and realize human rights for all.”

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How does it connect to capitals? Nature underpins our health and wellbeing, which in turn underpin our economic prosperity. Although the language of capitals was not used, this statement regonizes the importance of taking a systems-based approach that connects natural capital with human and social capital challenges and opportunities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals globally.

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