The Commission is engaged in a range of activities around the environment and human rights.
The Commission has recently taken the role of chair of the Working Group on Climate Change and Human Rights within the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. In the coming months the Commission will be supporting the Secretariat of the working group in developing a mini-site on Climate Change and Human Rights.
As chair of the working group the Commission sent a statement to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) intended to encourage national governments to work with their respective NHRIs in implementing the ‘Lake Victoria Action Plan’.
Read the Joint Communiqué in Word format.
In November 2010 the Commission gave a presentation on a ‘Human rights Based approach to Climate Change’ to the TUC Workshop on ‘human rights, labour rights and climate change’, which aimed to influence the CPO agenda during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s negotiations.
Commonwealth Working Group on Climate Change
The Commission is a member of the Working Group on Climate Change and Human Rights within the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. Climate change and its impact on human rights is a key Commonwealth issue - of the Commonwealth’s 54 member states, 32 are small states, including 25 small island states. In 2009, Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions agreed to set up a Working Group on Climate Change and Human Rights, with the objective of feeding into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) processes. The CHOGM is held every two years and is the highest consultative and policy-making mechanism of the Commonwealth. The next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will be held in Perth, Western Australia, in October 2011 (link).
In August 2012 the Commission submitted comments to the Secretariat consultation on its Strategic Plan - read the comments in Word format.
Articles and consultation submissions
In May 2011 the Commission responded to a call for evidence from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in preparation for its detailed analytical study of the relationship between human rights and the environment. You can read the submission in Word format.
The Commission made a submission to a public petition at the Scottish Parliament, PE 1372, which calls on the Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to demonstrate how access to the Scottish courts is compliant with the Aarhus convention on ‘Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’. You can read the submission here in PDF format. You can read more about the petition at the Scottish Parliament website.
Encouraging dialogue. The Commission is frequently invited to participate in environmental/climate change discussions and events.
The Chair of the Commission participated in the 'Scotland Day' Parallel event at COP 15 (UN international climate change conference) in Copenhagen in December 2009, organised by the Scottish Government, British Council Scotland and the University of Edinburgh.
In May 2012 the Commission led on the drafting of an open letter from global human rights insitutions to the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.