Press Coverage of UN Independent Expert John Knox’s Mission to Costa Rica

The recent visit of United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, John Knox, to Costa Rica and Panama received national and local media attention. The Independent Expert lauded Costa Rica on its history of environmental protection but urged the country to address threats to environmental defenders. “It’s not the task of social organizations, civil society or citizens to put their own lives at risk to protect the environment. These are police functions that have to be adequately carried out by the government. It’s one thing to protect turtle eggs from tourists, it’s another to protect them from poachers," Knox said. Continue reading »

Independent Expert Concludes Costa Rica Mission With Press Statement

San Jose, August 1, 2013 - The mission of the Independent Expert of the United Nations on human rights and environment, John Knox, ended today with the presentation of preliminary findings and conclusions. Knox's mission came at the invitation of the Government of Costa Rica, from 28 July to 1 August 2013 and surveyed a broad agenda with public institutions, civil society organizations, UN agencies, industry and academia, as well as visits to various Costa Rican communities. Continue reading »

Costa Rica: UN expert to assess the linking of human rights with environmental protection

GENEVA (24 July 2013) – The United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, John Knox, will visit Costa Rica from 28 July to 1 August 2013, to assess how the country is implementing human rights relating to environmental protection. Continue reading »

UNEP seeks contributions for Guide on Rio Principle 10

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the main UN environment body, is looking for submissions and contributions to promote the worldwide implementation of Rio Principle 10. UNEP is developing an Implementation Guide to the 2010 “Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters” (Bali Guidelines) in cooperation with the World Resources Institute (WRI), a practical tool for policymakers, legal professionals, decision makers and civil society to aid them in their work to strengthen access to information, public participation, and access to justice. Continue reading »

May 2013 Newsletter

The newsletter describes the Independent Expert's upcoming meetings in Vienna and Panama and a country visit to Costa Rica. The meetings will help to map human rights obligations relating to the environment and to identify good practices in using rights-based approaches to environmental policy-making. See “May 2013 Newsletter”

Consultation on Procedural Rights Related to Environmental Protection

“If we fail our environment, we fail to protect our human rights,” warn UN experts on Earth Day

GENEVA (22 April 2013) – “We continue to fail to protect and conserve our environment in many respects, often with dire consequences for the enjoyment of human rights, despite great progress in some areas,” today warned a group of United Nations independent experts on the occasion of Earth Day 2013. Listen to full interview or read the full article.

Independent Expert Interviewed by World Radio Switzerland for Earth Day

Independent Expert John H. Knox speaks to World Radio Switzerland’s Vincent Landon about the use of human rights laws in addressing environmental problems, a practice that is becoming more prevalent. Listen to the full interview via the link below.

Supreme Court: Justices back Royal Shell in landmark human rights case

Prof. John H. Knox comments on the impact of the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. decision on Alien Tort Statute cases. The ruling, which held that foreigners may not bring lawsuits in the United States against corporations for human rights violations occurring overseas, will have a major impact on ATS law.

Finding Momentum: Human Rights and the Environment

The International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School lauds the presentation of the Independent Expert to the Human Rights Council, calling it a major “advance” in the discourse on the nexus between human rights in the environment.