We contributed to this multi-jurisdictional project in partnership with the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment, Dr David Boyd; and the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice in New York. International law firm Clifford Chance conducted and coordinated the project – the most extensive pro bono project in the firm’s history.

About the project

The project involved conducting a global survey to determine which of the 193 UN Member States recognise the human right to a healthy environment at either the national or sub-national level under domestic law. The survey findings were used by Dr Boyd to prepare a report, titled “Right to a healthy environment: good practices”, that was presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report describes the good practices followed by UN member states in recognising the right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and in implementing the procedural and substantive elements of this right. Dr Boyd concluded that this right is now recognised in law by more than 80 per cent (156 out of 193) of member states.

Dr Boyd said “I am immensely grateful to Clifford Chance, the Vance Center, and all of the legal experts who made this gargantuan research project possible. The results provide strong support for the United Nations to pass a pioneering resolution recognizing that everyone, everywhere, has a fundamental human right to live in a healthy environment.”

Our team

The Sorainen team for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus was represented by partner Kiryl Apanasevich; senior associates Agita Sprūde and Laura Matukaitytė; and associates Maryia Lohvinava and Raul Kartsep.

A copy of the report and supporting annexes can be found on the OHCHR’s website.