Video | Open seminar | Introducing Environmental Rights

Video of the open seminar

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Asterios Tsioumanis (PhD, MSc) will present on the notion, historical development, and current framework of human rights, linking them with the idea of environmental rights. He will introduce the first part of a relevant report, which will remain in a draft form until the project’s conclusion and will be finalized with its second part, incorporating relevant material from the project’s deliverables.

Elsa Tsioumani (PhD, LL.M/DEA) will introduce the current legal and policy framework on environmental rights, including international, regional, and domestic developments, leading to the recent adoption of the Human Rights Council Resolution 48/13.

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Open seminar | Intergenerational rights, including children rights and the environment

| Monday 15.05.2023

| 6.00 p.m. (GMT +2)

| Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82669038611?pwd=dVNQcy9RSGFsSlhOU2hva01zOTJHUT09

| Passcode: 150523

| Watch live on our YouTube channel

| Scroll down for greek – Δείτε παρακάτω την ανακοίνωση στα ελληνικά |

Speakers:

Ivana Savić (LLM, MBA) will deliver a presentation on the concept of intergenerational rights, encompassing the rights of children and the environment from the perspectives of International Law and EU Law. The presentation will focus on the rights and obligations of various actors involved, as well as the challenges and opportunities for effectively realising the environmental rights of children domestically, regionally and internationally within the framework of the International Law of Cooperation and Sustainable Development.

Ivana is an internationally recognized human rights and sustainability expert with more than 14 years of experience in international development, environmental sustainability, energy, human rights, policy and law development. Ivana is well experienced in designing processes and building architecture for human rights and sustainable development, with a proven record of generating transformative changes and innovative solutions to the encountered and emerging challenges, especially in the processes leading up to the Rio+20 and the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ivana is an external Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Private Law at Leiden University with the research topic International Environmental Rights of the Child.

Manos Kalaintzis & Stefanos Katsoulis (Ph.D., MSc.) will address Intergenerational justice through the lens of human rights. Intergenerational justice has become a crucial concern in recent years, with growing awareness of the impact of current human activities on future generations. The concept of intergenerational justice revolves around the idea that present generations have a responsibility to leave a world that is livable, sustainable, and just for future generations.
Intergenerational justice is not only concerned with environmental sustainability but also with ensuring that future generations will have access to basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and education. Several human rights are relevant to intergenerational justice, including among others the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the right to a healthy environment, the right to adequate food and water, the right to education, and the right to cultural heritage. Recently the right to a healthy environment has been formally recognised.
The temporal dimension of intergenerational justice presents unique challenges for human rights. Intergenerational justice is concerned with the long-term future, making it difficult to enforce in the present. Moreover, the benefits of promoting intergenerational justice are not immediate, making it challenging to generate political will for action. It is also required to integrate the principles of intergenerational justice into international human rights law and to develop new metrics for assessing the impact of human activities on future generations. However, human rights provide a framework for ensuring that the needs and interests of future generations are taken into account in decision-making processes.
All people have the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. As human rights and the environment are interdependent, a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is necessary for the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, such as the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, and development, among others. Despite myriad international agreements, as well as national laws and policies, the condition of our environment keeps deteriorating. The global crises we currently face, including climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and pollution, represent some of the biggest threats to humanity, severely affecting the exercise and enjoyment of human rights.
We will examine the complexities of the recognition and the evolution of those concepts through the jurisprudence of European courts.

Manos holds a law degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, an LLM from the International Hellenic University on Transnational and European Commercial Law and Arbitration, an LLM from the Democritus University of Thrace on Public International Law, and an LLM from the KU Leuven on Public International and European Law. He is currently a student at the National school of Judiciary. He was administrative assistant and research assistant the the ”UNESCO Chair in Intercultural Policy”of the University of Macedonia. He had been an expert at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and had been employed at the European Parliament as a policy advisor on constitutional and citizens’ affairs.

Stefanos is a PhD candidate in the Law of International Economic Organizations at the University of Macedonia. He holds an MA in International Economic Relations and a BA in International and European Economic Studies from the same University. His research interests focus on the law of international organizations and the legal framework of regional trade agreements, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as on human rights protection related topics with an emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights. He is an administrative staff member of the Training and Lifelong Learning Center of the University of Macedonia and a research associate at the “UNESCO Chair in Intercultural Policy”. He serves as the President of Thessaloniki Youth Club for UNESCO.

Project coordinator Asterios Tsioumanis (PhD, MSc), TIESS, will facilitate the open seminar providing introductory remarks.

Asterios has an academic background in agricultural and environmental economics, with his doctorate thesis, awarded in 2004 by the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, focusing on public perceptions towards applications of modern biotechnology, including genetically modified food. As a writer for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, he has followed closely developments in international environmental policy for the past decade.

Program

6.00- 6.10

Registration

6.10- 6.15

Welcome – Introductory remarks

Asterios Tsioumanis, Facilitator – Transdisciplinary Institute for Environmental and Social Studies (TIESS)

6.15- 6.45

Intergenerational rights, encompassing the rights of children and the environment. EU and International framework.

Ivana Savić

6.45- 7.30

Jurisprudence of the climate crisis in the constitutions, supreme courts and the ECHR.

Manos Kalaintzis & Stefanos Katsoulis

7.30- 7.50

Discussion

7.50- 8.00

Closing remarks

Seminar
The seminar will be held in a hybrid format in-person and online (via Zoom). A limited number of invitations will be issued for in-person participants, following COVID-19-related restrictions.
Online participation requires no prior registration. The seminar will be held in English. A report including key messages as well as all project’s deliverables will be translated in Greek in the project’s website.

Project

The Transdisciplinary Institute for Environmental and Social Studies (TIESS), in collaboration with a group of academic researchers, was successful to its application for a Jean Monnet grant to analyze and study environmental rights under the title “Human rights and the environment in the EU: Towards an inclusive debate”. The three-year project addresses various aspects of the concept of environmental rights, and aims to add to the ongoing discussion, following the recognition of the “right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right that is important for the enjoyment of human rights” (UN Human Rights Council Resolution 48/13).
The project is divided in five thematic areas, which will be addressed in separate seminars. Following the previous two seminars, this third seminar will try to link intergenerational rights, including children rights with the environmental in order to offer additional focus on the interrelationship between environmental degradation and the fulfillment of human rights.

Intergenerational rights, including children rights and the environment (backround)

The undeniable links between environmental degradation and the full enjoyment of the rights of children has long been recognized at the international level. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly mentions the need for “the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution”.

Recently, the links between environmental degradation and the enjoyment of children’s rights received additional focus. The conclusions of both the Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur are indicative of the status quo. “Taken as a whole, no group in more vulnerable to environmental harm than children (persons under the age of 18), who make up 30% of the world’s population. Environmental harm has especially severe effects on children under the age of five”.

The increasing body of literature establishes that environmental degradation affects the enjoyment of a wide range of children’s rights. The list would include rights to life, health, development, adequate standard of living, play and recreation, non-discrimination, education and culture.

Furthermore, the rights of future generations, including people that are not yet born, pose additional challenges. On the one hand, almost every single significant multilateral environmental agreement or process on sustainable development underscores the potential effects of environmental harm on future generations. On the other, human rights law is primarily based on the rights of individual human beings.

The “long-term” prospect in environmental multilateral agreements or processes on sustainable development currently rarely goes beyond 2100. As we have already entered the third decade of the 21st century, this means in practice that boys and girls born nowadays, may well be alive “in the long-term” so the rights of future generations in the form of the rights of children or the rights of the unborn are interlinked. The project’s ambition is to explicitly address this rather obfuscated link.

At the policy level, the European Union has been an active leader in promoting children’s rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by all EU countries. Article 3(3) of the EU Treaty establishes the objective for the EU to promote protection of the rights of the child. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU guarantees the protection of the rights of the child by the EU institutions and countries when they implement European law.

The project aims to contribute in ongoing work by the EU on children’s rights, by offering additional focus on the interrelationship between environmental degradation and the fulfillment of human rights.

Visit our website: https://environmentalrights.eu/

Contact: environmentalrights2021@gmail.com

For more information on TIESS see our activities and seminars.


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