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18 Oct 2022
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Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Climate Change - 2022

To be confirmed
2 Weeks
Programme Area
Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Governance and Law, Multilateral Diplomacy, International Law
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
Multilateral Diplomacy
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The e-Learning course "Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Climate Change" covers the basic principles and concepts of human rights, the SDGs with emphasis on the goals and targets most relevant to environmental protection, and the relationship between human rights and the environment. In light of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) that took place in December 2019, the interdependance between both fields has never been more relevant. The course will notably illustrate how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can and is necessary to environmental protection, considering the recent scientific and legal developments around human rights and environment regimes. It will include as well a section covering the new developments following the COP25. 

Participants will learn the bases for the application of human rights to environmental issues and the procedural and substantive obligations relating to the environment. They will deepen their knowledge around Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, as well as the obligations relating to vulnerable group. Through examples of constitutions that have incorporated a right to a healthy environment, good practices in procedural and substantive environmental protection, as well as good practices in the protection of groups particularly vulnerable to environmental harm, participants will understand how the relationship between human rights and environmental protection takes place in practice. 

At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify and discuss some of the major concerns related to environmental protection through IEL
  • Deliberate about the potential role of human rights in efforts to protect the global environment
  • Identify examples of good practices on EHRs around the world
  • Explain the relevance of human rights for environmental protection
  • Identify the main regional tribunals and their functions 
  • Evaluate the challenges and opportunities for human rights and the SDGs in the areas of poverty and environment
  • Identify the value and benefits of adopting the right to a healthy environment in domestic constitutions, including potential drawbacks
  • Detail how the SDGs, EHRs and indigenous people’s rights relate
  • Differentiate between anthropocentrism and ecocentrism
  • Provide an overview of climate litigation and the use of human rights in this effort

Module 1: Contextualisation of Human Rights and Environmental Protection

  • Lesson 1: History of Environmental Protection
  • Lesson 2: The Emergence of Contemporary Human Rights
  • Lesson 3: Introduction to Environmental Human Rights

Module 2: Environmental Protection and the SDGs

  • Lesson 1: The Right to a Healthy Environment
  • Lesson 2: Human Rights and SDGs
  • Lesson 3: Environmental Human Rights and Indigenous People
  • Lesson 4: Rights of Nature
  • Lesson 5: Climate Change and Human Rights

This course promotes an interactive approach through lessons and multimedia material, stimulating critical thinking.  Each module has its own learning objectives, as well as interactive online lessons, which guide participants through the contents. The lessons are also available in PDF format so participants can work offline. Contents and activities are practice-oriented and under a self-assessment approach, so participants will learn through practical examples and assignments associated with research and case scenarios. This experience will be supported by the UNITAR team, additional resources and material, and visuals such as infographics and videos.

Government officials, international civil servants, lawyers, judges, NGO representatives, academics and private sector professionals in the field of international law and international organizations. Overall, all stakeholders interested to learn about the main aspects of Human Rights and the environmental protection can benefit from this course.

The course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.

Certificates: Participants who successfully meet the minimum passing requirements at the end of the course will receive a UNITAR Certificate of Completion.