HUMAN RIGHTS & EVIRONMENT: NEED FOR AN INTEGRATED APPROACH Dr.MD.ZAFAR MAHFOOZ NOMANI Reader, Faculty of Law, Fort Road, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202002 Email :< email@example.com> Protecting human right means preserving the environment and safeguarding the environment means respecting for human right. Human right violations lead to environmental degradation and environmental degradation lead to human right violations’. Countries wherein rights of human being trumped, the health and environment are also seriously endangered in those destinations. The Stockholm Declaration, 1972 proclaimed for the first time that “man has fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality”. Since then , a large number of national , regional and international instruments have been drawn up which have strengthened the legal bases of environmental rights .Some of the researches conducted under the aegis of Commission of Human Right of United Nation Organization has revealed universal acceptance of the environmental rights recognized at the national, regional and international levels. It is estimated that more than 60 national constitutions contains specific provisions relating to environment. Some of the constitutions explicitly recognize the right to environment entailing corresponding duties towards the state, institution, organs of society and individual. Moreover an overwhelming number of countries developed legislations spelt out substantive content of the environmental rights. A few constitutions provide human right and fundamental freedoms for the right to healthy environment through legal recourse and action. Some of these countries treaded beyond the prescription and embodiment to provision relating to compensation for the victims of environmental degradation and incorporating a more stringent regime for the mitigation of environmental catastrophe through the idioms of right to environment and human right. The Universal Declaration On Human Right,1948 has no direct reference to environment right per se none the less right it resolves that “every one has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and for his family , including food , clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services…”. In its later elucidation, the Declaration significantly envisages that “nothing in the present covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all the people to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources”. The General Assembly Resolution On The Permanent Sovereignty Over Natural Resources, 1962 balances the right of state and people in far grater senility. The resolution maintains that “the right to people and the nation to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be exercised in the interest of their national development and of the well being of the people of the state concerned”. The Stockholm Declaration, 1972 proclaimed for the first time that “man has fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits life of dignity and well being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for the present and future generation” .
But it rejected the proposal for a Universal Declaration On The Protection And Betterment Of The Environment as a counter part to Universal Declaration Of Human Right, and by saying that the states that ‘the sovereign right to exploit the natural resources should be in conformity with the Charter of united nation and the principles of international law11’.The Declaration on Right to Development, 1986 obligates the state “to undertake all necessary measures for the realization of the right to development such as equality of opportunity for all in their access to basic resources, education, health, food housing, employment and fair distribution of freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment of quality”. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992 states that ‘human beings is at the center of concerns for the sustainable development and entitled accordingly a healthy and productive life’. Entitlement to healthy and productive life in harmony with nature and recognition of centrality of human being in sustainable development is articulated in Vienna Declaration on Human Right,1993 in the wake of flagrant human right violations on account of deleterious impact of indiscriminate proliferation of hazardous waste .The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities , endorsed by the Commission on Human Rights, under the Special Rapporteurship of Fatma Zohra Ksetini put forth the symbiotic relationship of human right and environment . The Draft Declaration subscribes that right to secure, healthy and ecologically sound environment by articulating environmental dimension of a wide range of human rights. The Draft Declaration is the first international instrument that comprehensively addresses the linkage between human rights and the environment. It demonstrates that accepted environmental and human rights principles embody the right of everyone to a secure, healthy and ecologically sound environment, and it articulates the environmental dimension of a wide range of human rights. The U.N. Human Rights Commission has recognized the Draft Declaration as a significant standard-setting activity and has called for governments, specialized agencies, and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. The U.N.Human Right Commission has recognized the Draft Declaration as a significant standard setting parchment on the subject. In the wake of startling paucity of a model international law The Declaration ideally suited to the inculcation of human right to environment across the world. In view of the seminal importance it is worthwhile exercise to underline the basic ethos of the Declaration for the ultimate embodiment in enviro-human right discourse.