The World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) adopted Resolution 101 on the Child’s Right to Connect with Nature and to a Healthy Environment in September 2012. According to the IUCN, the World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest conservation event and is held every four years with the goal of improving how humans manage the natural environment for human, social and economic development. Governments, the public sector, non-governmental organisations, businesses, UN agencies and social organizations all participate in the World Conservation Congress.
Resolution 101 is indicative of increasing efforts to link conservation with human rights. It notes a deep “concern about the significant consequences of increasing environmental problems … for the lives and development of children … and for their future” and affirms that the World Conservation Congress “[e]ndorses the child’s right to nature and a healthy environment.” The resolution calls on IUCN’s governmental and non-governmental members and its Director General to “promote and actively contribute to the international acknowledgement and codification of the child’s right to nature and a healthy environment within the United Nations human rights framework, preferably in an additional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child” and to “help introduce the draft text ‘The child’s right to nature and a healthy environment’ on the agenda of the United Nations Human Rights Council.” In addition, the resolution requests the Director General in collaboration with the Secretariat and the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, within the scope of their mandates, to “contribute to the further development and knowledge of the legal concept: the child’s right to nature and a healthy development as part of the rights-based approach to conservation.”
The IUCN’s website is: www.IUCN.org; the full text of the resolution is available at: https://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/resolutions_and_recommendations_2012.pdf.