Asia Pacific Issue Brief: SDG16, Human Rights and Environmental Rule of Law, March 2021

Publish Year : 2021
Thematic Area: COVID-19, Environmental protection, Sustainable Development Goals
Geographic Area: Regional


At the core of the 2030 Agenda lies a clear understanding that human rights, peace and security, and development are deeply interlinked and mutually reinforcing. SDG Goal 16 provides a framework for peace, justice for all, and strong institutions, which is fundamental to accelerating progress of all other SDGs. SDG16 thus acts both as an enabler and a precondition for achieving the 2030 Agenda as a whole. However, according to several indicators, people and communities are in fact being left behind. This issue brief focuses on certain aspects of human rights and environmental rule of law that are essential for the achievement of the SDG16 targets. It also tackles the role of environmental human rights defenders in the Asia-Pacific region in promoting avenues for an environmentally sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief canvasses good practices and ongoing challenges, including the legal protections needed for environmental human rights defenders, while identifying key messages and a range of recommendations.