Nearly 200 countries approve a biodiversity accord enshrining human rights and the ‘rights of nature’

By | January 2, 2023

Inside Climate News reports:

Nearly 200 countries have signed off on an agreement that embeds the promotion of human rights and the “rights of nature” into a plan to protect and restore biodiversity through 2030.

The 14-page document, while nonbinding, was adopted on Dec. 19, 2022 at COP15, a 12-day conference convened in Montreal under the auspices of the U.N. Convention of Biological Diversity. It is the first international agreement to give credence to a growing movement that recognizes that nature and everything it encompasses—from animal and plant species to rivers, mountains and the soil—possess inherent rights similar to those of human beings.

The accord Is therefore being hailed by some environmentalists as a watershed moment. Mentions of human rights, Indigenous peoples’ rights, local communities’ rights and gender equality are also threaded throughout the document, marking a shift from past biodiversity agreements that skirted the human rights issue.

Because the agreement is not binding, it will ultimately be up to governments to ensure that those rights are protected as conservation projects are carried out to further the plan’s goals. Some may find the accord quixotic: Countries failed to reach a single target laid out in the last 10-year biodiversity plan, which set goals to be reached by 2020. [Continue reading…]

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