We welcome the decision by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to pass a resolution declaring that everyone on the planet has the right to a healthy environment.
The resolution acknowledges climate change and environmental degradation as some of the most pressing threats to the future of humanity and calls on states to step up efforts to ensure their people have access to a "clean, healthy and sustainable environment."
While not legally binding on the 193 Member States, we welcome the passing of this resolution and hope that it acts as a signal to national legislatures of the importance of robust regulatory frameworks which promote good environmental health.
Kate Thompson, Wales Director at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:
“The decision by the UN to declare a healthy environment as a human right serves to highlight the importance of robust regulatory frameworks which promote good environmental health. From ensuring good air quality, to potable water, and maintaining high food standards and security, our members are at the front-line ensuring the UK meets the highest standards in environmental health.
As a professional membership body, we work with members of the public, the profession and policymakers in both promoting environmental health and ensuring the UK maintains the highest standards in this regard.
This declaration from the UN is another tool in the armoury of front-line professionals and advocates seeking to further strengthen environmental health standards”
Image credit: General Assembly Meets on Peacebuilding and Human Rights. Photo by UN.