Environmental justice

List Map
Catalyzing Rights and Environmental justice

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 1(1), 6(1); ICESCR Arts. 11(2), 12(2)(b), 15(1)(a); CEDAW Arts. 13(c), 14; CRC Arts. 6(1), 24(2)(c),(e), 29(1)(c), (e), 31; CRPD Arts 10, 11, 30; ICERD Art. 5(e)(vi); ICRMW Arts. 9, 31, 34, 43(1)(g), 45(1)(d); UDHR Arts. 3, 27

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Ensure that responses “to climate change and other forms of environmental degradation . . . focus on the needs and rights of the people most affected by these harms” (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)
  • Put into place responses to COVID-19 that “integrate strong action to prevent biodiversity loss, childhood exposure to pollution and toxic wastes, and environmental harm” (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)
  • Ensure that responses to COVID-19 “respect, protect and fulfil rights to a healthy environment” (OHCHR & UNEP)
  • Implement “a holistic response to COVID-19 that includes a reconceptualization of the relationship between people and nature that will reduce risks and prevent future harms from environmental degradation” including by “[i]ntegrating the human right to a healthy environment in key environmental agreements and processes” (OHCHR & UNEP)
  • Ensure that COVID-19 responses “address inequalities and focus on protection of persons in vulnerable situations in order to leave no one behind” given that “[e]nvironmental harms disproportionately impact individuals, groups and peoples already living in vulnerable situations” (OHCHR & UNEP)
  • “[R]ecognize the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment in . . . constitutional and legislative frameworks, with effective remedies for violations of this right” and “strengthen efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife – reducing potential avenues for zoonosis and promoting the rule of law while ensuring alternative and sustainable livelihoods” (OHCHR & UNEP)
  • Democratize “environmental decision-making at all levels through improved use of digital space and inclusive consultative processes” (OHCHR & UNEP)
  • Guarantee “safe handling and disposal of waste as a vital component of an effective and comprehensive emergency response and treat waste management, including of medical, household and other hazardous waste, as an urgent and essential public service” (OHCHR & UNEP)

Further guidance can be found here: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Annual Conference, Environmental Crisis; UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment: COVID-19, World Environment Day; UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; UNEP; OAS; OECD

Briefing Paper

Structural and Systemic Change through COVID-19 Human Rights Measures

The “Structural and Systemic Change through COVID-19 Human Rights Measures” Briefing Paper highlights measures that explicitly aim to create structural and systemic change, including by emphasis on the concept of doing things differently than previously. In putting into place such measures, States have sought to demonstrate a commitment to transformative, structural, and long-term change.

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 17 matching measures.

Environmental justice

Measure Country
Recover Portugal, Building the Future: Recovery and Resilience Plan (Recuperar Portugal, Construindo o Futuro: Plano de Recuperação e a Resiliência) Portugal

The Ministry of Planning’s Recovery and Resilience Plan was enacted as an “instrument . . . to mitigate the economic and social impact of the [COVID-19] crisis.” It contains a…

Updated Nationally Determined Contributions Sri Lanka

The Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment launched its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) “review process” in 2020, presenting, “as Party to the Paris Agreement . . ….

Circular Letter About Waste and Waste Management from Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID-19) Treatment (Surat Edaran Tentang Pengelolaan Limbah Dan Sampah Dari Penanganan Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID-19)) Indonesia

This measure aims “to manage hazardous waste and waste in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and control and avoid the occurrence accumulation of hazardous waste and generated waste.”…

Fisheries Sector COVID-19 Recovery Project India

According to this “draft for consultation and Stakeholder Comments,” from the Department of Fisheries, “India will implement material measures and actions so that the [Fisheries Sector COVID 19 Response and…

Law 2068 that Modifies the General Tourism Law and Issues other Provisions (Ley No. 2068 (Por el Cual se Modifica la Ley General de Turismo y se dictan Otras Disposiciones) Colombia

Law 2068 modifies the General Law of Tourism and aims “to promote sustainability” and “implement mechanisms for the conservation, protection, and use of tourist destinations and attractions.” Among other provisions,…

Solar Power Naija Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria, “[t]o support the economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic . . . has launched an initiative as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan…

National Training and Reskilling Scheme (NTRS) Mauritius

As a “key component[]” of its “Economic Recovery Programme” the government launched a project to provide “training and reskilling of some 9,000 unemployed persons.” Among other areas, the project aimed…

Government of Canada Launches New COVID-19 Related Challenges to Help Reduce Environmental Impact of PPE in Canada Canada

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced “two challenges through the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program to make personal protective equipment (PPE) more compostable and recyclable.” The challenges seek…

SUBREI Ratifies Agreement to Fourth Agreement of Clean Production of the Industry of the Sustainable Processed Food Industry The IV Clean Production Agreement (APL) of the Processed Food Industry (SUBREI ratifica compromiso a IV Acuerdo de Producción Limpia de la Industria de Alimentos Procesados Sustentable) Chile

The objectives of the Fourth Clean Production Act of the Industry of Processed Foods, an agreement between private and public bodies, signed by a range of government ministries, including the…

Minister of Climate Change and Environment Reinforces Importance of Green Economy as Cornerstone for Post-COVID-19 Recovery United Arab Emirates

During the “First Ministerial Meeting on COVID-19 and the Environment in West Asia” Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, emphasized “that expediting the transition to…

Costa Rica Launches Financial Program for Women Who Protect Natural Resources Costa Rica

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), as well as the Office of the First Vice President of the Republic, launched the…

Fifteenth Measure of Neutralization of Coronavirus Economic Consequences Armenia

The Office of the Prime Minister issued a measure to “create temporary jobs in the agricultural sector by addressing environmental issues” for the benefit of “citizens of the Republic of…

Municipality of Lima Initiates Implementation of Network of 46KM of Temporary Bike Paths (Municipalidad de Lima Inició Implementación de una Red de 46 Km de Ciclovías Temporales) Peru

The Deputy Management Office of Non-Motorized Transport of Lima began implementation of a network of temporary bicycle lanes in the municipality of Lima “to contribute to social distancing” given the…

Prime Minister Imran Khan Today Approved “Green Stimulus” Package as Part of Government’s Efforts to Extend Green Cover in the Country Pakistan

Prime Minister Khan approved a “Green Stimulus” package that forms “part of Government’s efforts to extend green cover in the country and to create job opportunities for the youth of…

Recycling and Sustainable Management of Food During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency United States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a website that provides “tips and reminders” as well as resources from the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of…

Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications Annual Report 2020 Ireland

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications took steps to ensure its efforts continued during the pandemic; for example, delivery of a “Local Authority Climate Action Training Programme ….

Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications Annual Report 2020 Ireland

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications took steps to ensure its efforts continued during the pandemic; for example, delivery of a “Local Authority Climate Action Training Programme ….

Country with entries