The Ministry of Environment has welcomed the declaration by the United Nations General Assembly that access to clean and healthy environment is a universal human right.
The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organizations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.
Director Environment, Sandeep Singh says the declaration further aligns the work undertaken by the Ministry in areas of Pollution Control, environmental loss and damage, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
Director Environment, Sandeep Singh.
This is being done through the existing legislative frameworks including the Environment Impact Assessment processes and the application of the precautionary principle to ensure that Fijians continue to have access to a clean and healthy environment.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, says the landmark development demonstrates that the Member States can come together in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
He adds the decision will also help States accelerate the implementation of their environmental and human rights obligations and commitments.
Guterres underscored that however, the adoption of the resolution ‘is only the beginning’ and urged nations to make this newly recognized right ‘a reality for everyone, everywhere’.