Our Mission: Food, Education, Medicine

#ClimateJusticeThursday: You have a right to a clean & healthy environment!

healthy environment - cleanbuild

#ClimateJusticeThursday: You have a right to a clean & healthy environment!

Hello readers,

Welcome to #ClimateJusticeThursday on CleanbuildVoices!

Many people still remember the COVID days of enforced lockdowns and quarantines. Adults got antsy over being cooped indoors all day for weeks; remote work became the new corporate mantra for organizations across the globe, and going for outings became risky.

Over one year later, activities are gradually going back to normal. More than ever before, people have renewed their appreciation for homes, community gardens, and public open spaces. Yet, how many people actually have access to a safe and clean environment to live in not to talk of appreciate?

In this week’s edition of #ClimateJusticeThursday, our focus is on how access to a healthy environment is a fundamental human right.

Africa has countless examples of environmental abuses. If you live in any African country, look around your environment and you’ll see the effects of environmental degradation around you.

From illegal waste dumping to clogging of waterways to bigger damages such as deforestation, oil spillage, gas flaring, mining to the displacement of indigenous people, there are signs of wear and tear in the environment. More often than not, the most affected are the poor including children, women, older people, and people with disabilities.

Did you know that having a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is indeed a human right? In a victory win for environmental activists across the world, the UN Human Rights Council recognized and approved it as a fundamental human right.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights went as far as to say that the threats of climate change, pollution, and nature loss are the single greatest human rights challenge of our era.

This is because of the cascading effects of changes in climate on access to food and shelter, health and education, and a host of other spheres. Bachelet believes that the rights to participation, access to information, and access to justice are needed in order to attain the human right to a healthy environment.

Perhaps you are tired of seeing environmental pollution where you live or are even scared for the safety of your households. You are by no means alone. Across the African continent, activists young and old are taking the lead in calling for a safe clean, and healthy environment for all.

How chip in your support? The next time you go to that town hall meeting, ask the local authorities of your their plans to address environmental issues in your area. You could also take advantage of the digital age and tweet your concerns.

Take photographs of degradation and upload them on social media, you could even ask others to help repost them. Remember that the digital world is your oyster, own it.

In the meantime, there are other practical things you can do to ensure a safe, clean, and healthy environment for your household. To find out these helpful tips, check out this article.

For their part, governments should set up effective and robust regulatory protection of the environment, labor rights, land rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, livelihoods, and cultures.

They should also do more to protect land and environmental defenders who have been known to receive death threats and some have been killed.

Businesses and organizations should desist from engaging in illegal land acquisition and violations of the right of people in their communities.

They should adopt and implement a zero-tolerance stance on reprisals and attacks on land and environmental defenders in their global operations, supply chains, and business relationships.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for our next #ClimateJusticeThursday special.

Related Post