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Right to Safe Environment

All human beings depend on the environment in which we live.  A safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation.  Without a healthy environment, we are unable to fulfil our aspirations or even live at a level commensurate with minimum standards of human dignity.  At the same time, protecting human rights helps to protect the environment.  In recent years, the recognition of the links between human rights and the environment has greatly increased.  The number and scope of international and domestic laws, judicial decisions, and academic studies on the relationship between human rights and the environment have grown rapidly worldwide.

Environmental rights are human rights, as people’s livelihoods, their health, and sometimes their very existence depend upon the quality of and their access to the surrounding environment as well as the recognition of their rights to information, participation, security and redress.

LRF gives special emphasis on Right to Safe Environment and believes that the human right to a healthy environment brings together the environmental dimensions of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights, and protects the core elements of the natural environment that enable a life of dignity.

LRF has been working on both demand and supply side to secure the people’s right to safe environment.

Highlights

LRF had launched a campaign on “The Rights of Indus to Survive” with the collaboration of Action Aid Pakistan in 2011 and 2012 in Sindh and Baluchistan). The Program was aimed at sensitizing the local communities and stockholders to disasters management and to protect the River Indus and riverine belt (Kacha Zameen) to protect environment.

During the campaign consultative workshops and network meetings were arranged with the concerned stakeholders for addressing the core issues i.e. shortage of water in the River Indus, the coastal infrastructures, encroachment of lands and lake of political stability and thus many issues were discussed. The discussions were fruitful and solutions were given by the participants in the form of recommendations. These recommendations were given though Charter of Demands in a press conference to develop pressure and for better implementation of the policies and laws concerning the right of Indus. In this campaign, leaflets and posters were developed and distributed for the community awareness at Union Council level.

LRF also established “Save the Indus Network” with the collaboration of 14 civil society organizations from Sindh and Baluchistan. The aim of establishment of this network was to unite the other civil society organizations working on the same issue so that they can raise the voice for “The Rights of Indus to Survive” collectively.