International Mother Earth Day: let’s protect our environment and safeguard our human rights

22 Apr, 2024 | Comunicati Stampa

Today, as every 22 April, we celebrate International Earth Day, a global event promoting global efforts to combat climate change, protect ecosystems and advance sustainable development – all crucial elements for upholding human rights worldwide. It is also a moment to bring people together, whether that is governments, private sector or civil society actors, and collectively take action to preserve nature and encourage sustainable lifestyles.

This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Planet vs. Plastics” and is related to the more than 50 countries’ commitment to end plastic pollution by 2040 and inform on harmful effects of plastics on both humans and the planet.

As a decision by the European Courts of Human Rights recently demonstrated, safe climate is a human right. As such, we can safely affirm that there is a solid link between environmental degradation and the violation of human rights. Most notably, environmental degradation, such as pollution, deforestation and climate change, directly impacts people’s ability to enjoy their fundamental rights, including the right to life, health and a safe environment.

Additionally, the right to a healthy environment intersects with various other human rights, such as the right to water, food and sanitation. As part of NPWJ’s “Amazonia Beyond the Crisis” campaign, together with our Amazonian partners we underscore this intersectionality of rights and show how environmental sustainability is essential to fulfil all of them. More specifically, this program explores how increasing deforestation has devastated indigenous Amazonian inhabitants and local communities, fueling violence and conflict among the vulnerable communities, which are disproportionately affected.

International Earth Day reminds us of the importance of protecting the environment to safeguard these and other vulnerable communities’ rights.

What can you do? Whether you are a government official, an entrepreneur or a member of an association, use this moment to foster positive change and adopt innovative solutions to protect our planet :

  • join an Earth Day march in your town
  • participate in a volunteering clean-up event
  • educate yourself on the detrimental effects of plastics on humans and the planet
  • Have a look at NPWJ’s activities dedicated to preventing violations against human rights and protecting indigenous communities in the Amazon against continuous environmental and economic destructions

So, what are you waiting for? Use this year’s International Earth Day to join a worldwide platform to advocate for the protection of the environment as a means to safeguard human rights, promote social justice, and foster sustainable development for present and future generations.