Seminar on Human Rights and Environment

The Asia Europe Foundation had its 13th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights from 21 – 23 October 2013 at Copenhagen, Denmark. This year has an interesting theme for discussion on “Human Rights and The Environment”. Around 140 participants including diplomats, members of national human rights institutions, lawyers, journalists and civil society representatives from 49 countries have participated in the three day seminar on human rights and environment. The seminar was inaugurated by the Environment Minister of Denmark. The seminar has four working groups to discuss in detail on the following areas such as

i) The interaction between sustainable development, environment and human rights 

ii) Access to Information, Participatory Rights and Access to Justice, 
iii) Actors, Institutions and Governance, 
iv) Climate Changes and Human Rights Implication 
Sankar Pani of Natural Justice participated in the event and actively contributed in the working group on Access to Information, Participatory rights and Access to Justice. There has been an intensive discussion on integrating environmental rights with human rights and environment defenders/activist to be treated at par with human right activist, so the protection measures available for human rights defenders should be extended to environmental activists. Many points were also emerged in regard to Free Prior Informed Consent and how this can be enforced for every project which has some social and environmental impacts. It is also important to take necessary measures so that the indigenous community can participate actively in the FPIC process and can have a say on the project. There has been also reference to the Aarhus Convention and how the spirit of the convention can be incorporated into the legal frame work in Asian Countries

24 October 2013

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