On 27-28 September, RWI, China Dialogue Trust, and the Faculty of Law at the University of Nairobi organised a hybrid conference in Nairobi on the topic Environmental Law from Below: Grassroots and Human Rights Perspectives on the Human Environment Agenda (Stockholm+50).
The Nairobi conference started with an open session entitled Climate Justice, Grassroot Activism, and Human Rights Law, which you can watch in the link below. Following opening words by Malin Oud, Director of RWI’s Stockholm Office and China programme, and Winnie Kamau, Associate Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Nairobi, Patricia Kameri-Mbote, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Law Division, gave a keynote speech outlining developments in the field of environmental law and the use of human rights law in addressing human environment challenges since the 1972 conference.
Kameri-Mbote’s keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Isabel Hilton, Founder and Senior Advisor of China Dialogue Trust, with contributions by Li Fung, OHCHR Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya; Ayman Cherkaoui, Vice-Chair of IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law; Nyasha Frank Mpahlo, Executive Director of Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust; Robert Kibugi, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of University of Nairobi; and Claudia Ituarte-Lima, Leader of Human Rights and Environment Thematic Area at RWI.
Key conclusions were that despite recent progress at the UN and in national level legal reforms and court cases, where grassroot movements played a key role, much remains to be done to achieve respect for, and protection of, both rights-holders and of the (human) environment that grassroots set out to preserve.
The open sessions were followed by four closed-door sessions on the topics: Just Transitions, Climate Justice, South-South Cooperation, and Mapping Impacts.
The second day continued with a study visit to the National Park of Nairobi, where the conference topics were concretised and applied in discussions on the social and environmental impacts of development and infrastructure projects in the areas surrounding the park.
A conference report and related materials will soon be shared on this page.
Watch the keynote speech and panel discussion here.