[January 14, 2022] In a joint statement on behalf of all sixty CINMENA nations, Ezidikhan Minister of Justice and CINMENA Co-Chair Ms. Nallein Sowilo today delivered an impassioned plea for nations and states to heed the example of Indigenous nations in safeguarding the earth and its resources.
The right to a healthy environment is universally recognized among Indigenous nations, but it has not been formally recognized at the global level. This lack of global commitment to a healthy environment is delaying achievement of sustainable development goals, exacerbating inequalities, and creating protection gaps, especially for environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women, and Indigenous peoples who often have been and continue to be agents advocating environmental safeguards.
We now face a threefold environmental crisis: climate change; loss of biodiversity; and pollution. The rights of present and future generations depend upon a healthy environment. The global recognition of the right to a healthy environment will support efforts to leave no people behind, ensure a just transition to an environmentally healthy and socially equitable world, and realize human rights for all.
We have come together in a call to action for human rights, through the inspiration provided by the Council, and in response to the urgent call for action from all corners of the world to proclaim that the time for global recognition, implementation and protection of the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is now.
Desecration or destruction of protected environments during military operations should be considered on a par with war crimes and violations of human rights. If the Commission adopts their suggestions, the principles would include measures to hold governments accountable for environmental damage done by their military forces.
CINMENA nations also demand explicit safeguards to protect biodiversity, and protection of endangered species of plants and animals.
Indigenous peoples understand from experience the interconnected nature of all life. Indigenous nations now expect the rest of humanity to turn away from the voracious greed and runaway consumption patterns of states, individuals and corporations that threaten the future of life on planet earth.