The Environment Program promotes conscientious stewardship of natural resources and the human rights obligations underpinning a sustainable environment and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Program collaborates with local, regional and international environmental NGOs, providing them with legal representation on projects that concern pressing environmental issues around the world. Areas of focus for the Program include human rights and the environment, climate change, protection of environmental defenders, international humanitarian law and environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, toxic pollution, and water source and river protection. The Program works to promote the rights of indigenous peoples and other communities through projects that seek to build legal capacity and knowledge about international norms and standards that govern their rights.
The Program also supports special rapporteurs of the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. International Law Commission in furtherance of their mandates in areas such as human rights and the environment, children’s environmental rights, and environmental protection during armed conflict. The Program provides legal assistance to international organizations that promote global environmental rights, conducting multijurisdictional research and analysis of complex legal issues to ensure protection of the fundamental principles of environmental law.