The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Chapter 5: Human rights and the environment
The protection of the environment should be a priority on both the individual and state level. The M_ori proverb set out above describes a link between people and the environment that is both intrinsic and interdependent. Humans have the power to protect or destroy the environment. Yet it is also the environment that ultimately sustains the earth’s population. The importance of the environment to human well-being, health and ultimately survival is self-evident. We rely on the environment for food, air, water and mineral resources, not to mention for its natural beauty. The first part of this chapter will consider whether there is already a human right to an environment of quality and, if not, whether existing human rights adequately address environmental issues. Following this, it will examine the arguments for and against an environmental human right. In the second part of the chapter I will discuss the special relationship between indigenous peoples and the environment. I will then briefly address the issues relating to environmentally displaced or disadvantaged persons. The chapter concludes by examining the contents of any human right to a quality environment, should it be considered desirable.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.