Summary report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the outcome of the full-day discussion on specific themes relating to human rights and climate change
Pursuant to its resolution 26/27, the Human Rights Council held a full-day discussion on 6 March 2015 on specific themes relating to human rights and climate change. Two panel discussions were held, the details of which are provided in the present report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The discussion was chaired by the President of the Human Rights Council and opened with a video message from the Secretary-General, followed by an address from the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The first panel discussion focused on identifying challenges and ways forward towards the realization of all human rights, including the right to development, for all, in particular those in vulnerable situations. It included the measures and best practices to promote and protect human rights that could be adopted by States in addressing the adverse effects of climate change on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights. The panel was moderated by the Executive Director of the South Centre, Martin Khor. The panellists were: the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong; the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali; the President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Mary Robinson; the Coordinator and Principal Legal Adviser in the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dan Bondi Ogolla; the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz; and the Secretary-General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Mithika Mwenda.
The second panel discussion focused on the adverse impact of climate change on States’ efforts to progressively realize the right to food, as well as policies, lessons learned and good practices. It opened with a video message from the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and was moderated by the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, John Knox. The panellists were: the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga; the Administrator of the National Food Authority of the Philippines, Renan B. Dalisay; the Director of the Geneva Liaison Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Xiangjun Yao; the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Olav Fykse Tveit; the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, Elizabeth Mpofu; and the Permanent Representative in Geneva of FoodFirst Information and Action Network International, Ana-Maria Suarez Franco.
Ms. Robinson provided closing remarks drawn from the two panel discussions.
On Thursday, Pope Francis will issue a highly anticipated encyclical on man, religion and the environment, a text that is expected to influence the outcome of the Paris climate talks in December.
We know already what side he is on.
During a January visit to typhoon-ravaged villages in the Philippines — my home country — he called on humanity to protect the earth, which he called “a beautiful garden for the human family.” And he captured headlines last year when he called the destruction of South America’s rainforests a “sin.”
To the world’s 370 million indigenous people, many of whom live in overlooked and remote corners of the world, the Pope’s words offer hope — regardless of whether they share his spiritual beliefs. As some of the first victims of climate change by virtue of their dependence on the world’s natural resources, these communities are finding themselves on the front lines of the environmental crisis. They are playing David against governments and developers eager to destroy their pristine forests, fields and streams to build mines, dams and agricultural plantations, all in the name of what the Pope calls a “throw-away” economic system.
Video message of Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, for the side event on "Deforestation, Climate Finance and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." The side event was held on 8 June 2015 at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany during the Bonn Climate Change Conference (1-11 June 2015). The event was organized by Tebtebba and the Forest Peoples Programme.
Participants will share testimonies on the impact of drivers of deforestation on indigenous communities’ rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and participate in a discussion on how indigenous peoples can effectively participate in and directly access the Green Climate Fund and Climate Finance for their adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
The side event on Deforestation, Climate Finance and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be held on Monday, 8 June 2015 at 1:15 pm at Bonn2 of the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany. This is an official side event of the Bonn Climate Conference being held from 1-11 June 2015.