United Nations Guidance Note on Environmental Human Rights Defenders | UNEP

United Nations Guidance Note on Environmental Human Rights Defenders | UNEP

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Guidance Note Coverpage

This guidance note is prepared as part of the Secretary- General’s Call to Action for Human Rights in order to increase support from the United Nations on the ground to Environmental Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs). It outlines concrete actions which UN Country Teams (UNCTs) may take, including under the lead of the Resident Coordinators as appropriate, in order to better protect
EHRDs, in their work to support governments on the ground. 

This includes – but is not limited to: empowering EHRDs to participate in decision-making, contributing to the protection of EHRDs through the work of the UN, promoting a safe and enabling civic space, strengthening access to justice for EHRDs and engaging with businesses to enhance the protection of EHRDs.

The aim of the guidance note is to support UNCTs worldwide who have identified environmental concerns as a priority issue to undertake the following three actions, as part of their broader work on environment, while also encouraging all UNCTs to go further by consulting and using this guide:

  1. Engage regularly with civil society groups to understand trends and emerging threats to EHRDs and build safe spaces for EHRDs’ engagement with the UN.
  2. Consistently engage with government authorities to raise awareness of the important role that EHRDs play in promoting sustainable development, protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity, and the need to protect them.
  3. Publicly recognize and promote, on a regular basis, the positive contribution of EHRDs to sustainable development, environmental protection, peace and stability, and the enjoyment of human rights, including

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