The 4th Sino-German Forum for the Development of Human Rights

Event: Society and Politics

Jointly organized by China Foundation for Human Rights and FES China, this year’s Human Rights Forum focused on people’s access to the unspoiled natural resources that enable survival, including land, shelter, food, water and air, which we understand as Environmental rights.

Based on the consensus that environmental rights, i.e. the right to a healthy, clean, safe, beneficial, salubrious or ecologically balanced environment, are important components of human rights and should also be recognized under constitutional law, FES Beijing and the China Foundation for Human Rights invited human rights scholars from various institutions and experts on environmental law. One of them is Birgit Schwenk from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.

Ms. Schwenk pointed out the importance of discussing environmental rights and climate justice in the context of human rights and applying the relevant policy instruments. She referred to last summer's flood disaster in Germany, which cost more than a hundred lives, to underscore the urgency of addressing the issue.

One of our guests of honor is former German Justice Minister Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin, who also attended our 2019 Human Rights Forum. She explained the importance of acting together as a global community and the role of international instruments such as the climate agreement. Prof. Qin Tianbao, Deputy Director of the Environmental Courts and Vice Chair of the Compliance Committee of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity - Nagoya Protocol, pointed out the great potential of cooperation between China and Germany in this field.

Both sides agreed that environmental protection and human rights protection are closely linked. Facing global challenges such as environmental pollution and biodiversity loss, it is necessary for experts and scholars to strengthen communication and learn from each other's useful experiences in the field of environmental rights protection.

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