Fréttir / News

Réttur´s participation in international discussion on the right to a healthy environment

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In April 2023, one of Réttur´s associates and human rights specialist, Ms. Jóna Thórey Pétursdottir, gave a speech on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The topic was the centre of dicussion at a symposium at Reykjavik University this spring. The event was held by the Center for International Environmental Law, Reykjavik University, Icelandic Human Rights Center and the Icelandic Nature Conservation. Among others, Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir gave a speech at the event, as well as David Boyd, United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

The event was held leading up to the Reykjavik Summit, the Council of Europe’s conference in Iceland, held in May 2023. One of the fundamental agreements of the Council of Europe is the European Convention on Human Rights, but unlike other regional human rights conventions, the European Convention on Human Rights does not explicitly recognize an independent right to safe or healthy environment.

Jona discussed the importance of human rights protection in Europe and Iceland not being left behind in the development of human rights internationally and that there is a good reason to guarantee the right to the environment as an independent human right. The importance of nature to ensure the full protection of human rights is unquestionable, but in addition, nature must enjoy special protection in light of human encroachment on it and the emergency situation that prevails in climate issues, pollution issues and biological diversity.

More information can be found here where you can also access a recording from the event. Photo: HR/Hari