Creation of the United Nations Mandate on Human Rights and the Environment

In March 2012, during its 19th session, the UN Human Rights Council created a three-year mandate for an Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment.  Council Resolution 19/10 calls for the Independent Expert to:  study the human rights obligations regarding the right to a healthy environment; identify, promote and exchange views on best practices regarding human rights commitments; prepare a compendium of best practices; make recommendations that will facilitate the realization of Millennium Development Goal 7, on environmental sustainability; contribute a human rights perspective to follow-up processes of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development; and take into account a gender perspective by, inter alia, considering the particular situation of women and girls and identifying gender-specific discrimination and vulnerabilities.

Resolution 19/10 requests the Independent Expert to submit a report, including conclusions and recommendations, to the Council at its twenty-second session and to report annually thereafter. It also requests the Independent Expert to consult with and take account of the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including Governments, international bodies, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector and academic institutions. Moreover, the resolution provides that the Independent Expert shall work in close coordination, while avoiding unnecessary duplication, with other special procedures and subsidiary organs of the Human Rights Council, as well as other relevant United Nations bodies and human rights treaty bodies.

For the full text of the resolution, see Human Rights Council Resolution 19/10 on human rights and the environment (22 March 2012).