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Human rights and the environment

The interdependence of human rights and a healthy environment in the context of national legislation on natural resources











Knox, J.H. and Morgera, E. 2022. Human rights and the environment  The interdependence of human rights and a healthy environment in the context of national legislation on natural resources. FAO Legal Paper No. 109. Rome, FAO.



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    This thematic study explores the links between the right to food and natural resources governance. It covers a range of issues of which access to resources and assets, land, water, and the recommendation to protect ecological sustainability for sustainable management of natural resources are primary. The study reviews a range of international instruments and international developments related to natural resources governance in the ten years since the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines to suppo rt the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Right to Food Guidelines) in which human rights in general and the right to food in particular feature prominently. The study then reviews progress and challenges at the national and global levels, with a specific focus on gender, vulnerable groups, community and family management, and participatory processes. . Examples are given that show national level successes in terms of a variety of app roaches to handling key concerns with respect to land tenure rights, fishing rights of artisanal fishers, forest land allocation to smallholders. Challenges are mentioned and the wider involvement of the private sector is noted. The author points to global level issues such as climate change and large-scale land acquisitions that remain present in the context of development and public policy for promoting food security and the right to adequate food.

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