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Report of the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

By: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The UN Human Rights Council, in its resolution 19/10, requested the Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, Mr. John Knox, to identify, promote and exchange views on best practices relating to the use of human rights obligations and commitments to inform, support and strengthen environmental policy making, especially in the area of environmental protection and furthermore, requested him to prepare a compendium of best practices.

Pursuant to this request, the Independent Expert submitted his compendium of good practices to the Human Rights Council at its 28th session in March 2015. The report describes good practices of Governments, international organizations, civil society organizations, corporations and others in the use of human rights obligations relating to the environment, including:
(a) procedural obligations to make environmental information public, to facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making, to protect rights of expression and association, and to provide access to legal remedies;
(b) substantive obligations, including obligations relating to non-state actors;
(c) obligations relating to transboundary harm; and
(d) obligations relating to those in vulnerable situations.