Understanding the Relationship between Conflict, Security and the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

Started in May 2023

Context

Last year, in a landmark resolution, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly recognized the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This development sat in parallel with a growing consensus that environmental rights abrogation can drive conflict and threaten peace and security.

Such evidence has evolved rapidly. Food and water insecurity for example have a particularly strong causal relationship with diminutions in safety and security and conflict protraction. Protection against climate change, environmental good governance and the promotion of the right to a healthy environment should thus be seen both as a tool of conflict prevention and key to conflict resolution and non-recidivism. Such causal relationships, however, have not been sufficiently integrated into multilateral policy debates and decision-making processes.

Objective

This project will develop guidance to inform security, human rights and environmental debates on the linkages between environmental rights and conflict, and how their better management can serve as a tool in conflict prevention, resilience and early warning.

Homing in on six country hotspots for environmental conflict spillovers, we will also identify entry points for engaging at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council, as well as strategies to overcome challenges to policy uptake.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Yemeni women live in the open after being displaced from their homes due to the war in Taiz News

New Publication Unpacks UN Human Rights Council's Potential Role in Preventing Climate-Induced Conflicts

29 January 2024

Our new Research Brief explores the potential role of the UN Human Rights Council as an actor in the prevention of climate-related conflicts, alongside other multilateral efforts within the UN system.

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UN Security Council holds meeting on Somalia - 21 November 2019 News

New Research Brief Offers a Roadmap for Security Council Members to Engage on Climate-Driven Security Risks

2 June 2023

Our new Research Brief Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options identifies entry points for engaging on environmental and climate security issues at the UN Security Council.

Read more >

Publications

Cover Page of Research Brief

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the research brief

Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options

May 2023

Erica Harper, Adam Day

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the United Nations University

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Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

published on January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

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Cover page of the Research Brief Publication

The Evolving Neurotechnology Landscape: Examining the Role and Importance of Human Rights in Regulation

published on December 2023

Erica Harper

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