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.

“Costa Rica is at the forefront at linking human rights with environmental protection, and it is one of the leading examples of countries that have environmental rights in its constitution,” the expert said, noting that the country ranks fifth out of 132 countries in the 2012 Environmental Protection Index compiled by Yale and Columbia Universities. 

Mr. Knox praised Costa Rica’s efforts to guarantee human rights related to environmental protection, which include a comprehensive legal and policy framework in this area.

“However,” he stressed, “it is important to assess the lessons learned and challenges faced in the country with regard to realisation of such environmental rights, as well as how it is addressing global environmental challenges with human rights impacts, such as climate change.”

The Independent Expert’s visit will be his first official country mission since he was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2012.

During his five-day visit, at the invitation of the Government, Mr. Knox will meet Government officials and experts, as well as representatives of civil society and the United Nations System in San Jose and across the country.

The Independent Expert will present his preliminary observations on the visit at a press conference. Further details to follow.