The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was established as the human rights body of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2009 to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of ASEAN. The AICHR organised a Workshop on Human Rights, Environment and Climate Change in Yangon, Myanmar from 13 to 15 September 2014. The workshop sought to build on the inclusion of the right to a safe, clean and sustainable environment in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration adopted in November 2012. The workshop was organized and led by the Representative of Myanmar to the AICHR, H.E. U Kyaw Tint Swe, with the support of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aimed to discuss the inter-linkages between environmental sustainability and its impact on the enjoyment of human rights of the ASEAN people and the development of a regional strategy on mainstreaming a human rights based approach to environmental policymaking and protection.
The workshop invited expert speakers from within the region, Europe and the Americas, and included presentations sharing national experiences on the challenges and good practices on environmental protection by representatives from the various ASEAN Member States. For example, the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs for Myanmar noted that climate change and extreme weather conditions have had serious consequences for poverty, human security and human rights, adding that ASEAN countries’ geographic location make them vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. According to AICHR’s website, participants learned during the workshop, among other things, about the clear connection between human rights and environmental sustainability/climate change, and the importance of adopting a human rights based approach to environment policy making, such as ensuring public participation during environmental decision-making.
Information about the Workshop can be found on the AICHR website: http://aichr.org/news/aichr-workshop-on-human-rights-environment-and-climate-change/.