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Right to Health and Environment

South Korean court says ban on abortion is unconstitutional

On Thursday, April 11, South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s ban on abortion is unconstitutional, and that the law must be changed by the end of 2020, BBC News reported. Abortion was banned in South Korea in 1953, and, per the law, women who undergo abortions can be subject to fines and imprisonment,…

In landmark judgment, UK Supreme Court says Zambian villagers can proceed with pollution claim in English courts

On Wednesday, April 10, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled that more than 1,800 villagers in Zambia, who have alleged that their water supply has been polluted due to toxins from an opencast mine, can proceed with their claim in English courts, the Guardian reported. 1,826 villagers in Zambia’s Chingola region, in the Copperbelt province,…

Aarey's adivasis are fighting against losing land that they feel is historically theirs

Banjar Zameen: A Prayer to Save Aarey By Farhan Khan x BeatRAW x D-cypher

Watch three young rappers take up the cause of the Aarey forest also called Mumbai’s ‘green lungs’. Aarey is now under severe threat owing to the metro car shed project. A human chain to protect the forest is being organised on March 30, 4:30 PM at Marine Lines, Mumbai. Related: How Adivasis in Aarey are…

The Mystery of the Aarey Fire and the Need for a Citizens’ Inquiry CJP investigation on the ground and related facts

In the late hours of Monday, December 3, 2018, a fire blazed in Mumbai’s Aarey forest, the city’s last remaining major green area. Various news reports reported that the fire originated in a plot close to the IT Park that is located adjacent to Aarey. Reports indicated that the fire department struggled to control the…

20 million people in Yemen are hungry: UN official

The United Nations’ Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock recently stated that “20 million Yemenis are hungry,” CBS News reported. Speaking after having traveled to the country, Lowcock said that there has been a “dramatic deterioration” of the situation in Yemen, and that compared to 2017, 15% more of Yemen’s…

UN official calls for stemming biodiversity loss

“The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer,” Cristiana Pasca Palmer, executive secretary of the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), has told the Guardian, adding, “It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is…

India saw most pollution-linked deaths of children under 5 in 2016: WHO

According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016, India saw the highest number of deaths of children aged under five that could be tied to PM2.5 exposure, The Wire reported. Overall, the number of such deaths in 2016 was 60,987, with the death rate for the age group being 50.8…

UN rights expert calls for global recognition of the right to a healthy environment

According to an announcement from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN rights expert David R. Boyd called for the UN to formally recognise the human right to a healthy environment in his recent report to the General Assembly. Boyd is the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and…

Latin American, Caribbean nations sign landmark environmental agreement

14 Caribbean and Latin American countries recently signed the landmark Escazú Agreement that, according to an announcement from UN Environment, gives “environmental rights the same status as human rights”. The Agreement, which is officially called the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters, is the first environmental treaty for…

Climate change funding to developing nations falls short of Paris Agreement goals

According to an Oxfam report, funding for poor nations to assist them in cutting greenhouse emissions and tackle climate change is falling short of pledges made by wealthier nations, the Guardian reported. The Paris climate agreement of 2015 reiterated the goal to supply $100 billion every year to developing countries by 2020 to tackle the issue.…

14 Indian cities among the world’s most polluted cities: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a list of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, of which 14 are in India, NDTV reported. These included Varanasi, New Delhi, Kanpur, and Gwalior. Varanasi is the most polluted city in terms of levels of PM2.5, which includes pollutants like black carbon, nitrates and sulfates that pose the highest risk to…

CO2 emitted by ships at sea to be controlled for first time following deal

Carbon dioxide emissions from ships at sea will be controlled for the first time after a deal that was agreed upon following two weeks of discussion in London, the Guardian reported last week. The agreement was orchestrated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO); under it, shipping firms will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. The…

Colorado communities mount latest legal case against oil companies over climate change

The city of Boulder in Colorado, as well as the counties of Boulder and San Miguel have filed a lawsuit against oil firms Exxon Mobil and Suncor to obtain damages to cover what they say are the expenses of adapting for climate change, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. They have alleged that the companies created a…

Thousands of children need urgent psychological support in Papua New Guinea

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 25,000 children in Papua New Guinea urgently require psychological support after the country suffered multiple crippling earthquakes, the Guardian reported. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the country on February 26; nearly 200 aftershocks have occurred in the last 40 days, some of which were 6.5 magnitude. Papua New…

Colombia supreme court directs government to protect Amazon rainforest in historic case

Colombia’s apex court has informed the country’s government that it must take immediate steps to protect the Amazon rainforest and check increasing deforestation, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. In January, 25 young plaintiffs aged seven to 26 sued Colombia’s government, saying that its inaction in protecting the Amazon imperilled their future and infringed on their constitutional…

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