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Chinese, foreign scholars discuss environmental rights

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-06-25 10:18
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BEIJING -- Chinese and foreign scholars and experts discussed the protection and development of environmental rights on Thursday at an online side event of the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Members of universities and research institutions at home and abroad discussed the basic theory of environmental rights, environmental rights as constitutional rights, legislation and practice of environmental rights protection, and environmental rights protection in the context of climate change and environmental codes.

Huang Wenyi, dean of the Law School of Renmin University of China, said that the Communist Party of China always regards respecting and safeguarding human rights as an important task in its governance. With the comprehensive development of China's economy and society, more and more attention has been paid to environmental rights, said the scholar.

As a new type of human rights, the solution to theoretical issues, such as how to define the concept of environmental rights, express it in the constitution and laws, and coordinate with other interests and theoretical issues, must be both rooted locally and based on learning from others around the world, he added.

Lyv Zhongmei, vice chief of China Law Society, said that, at present, environmental rights, as a human right, have been fully reflected in China's policies, and there is a sufficient basis for environmental rights to be included in the environmental code.

Compiling an environmental code that reflects the characteristics of the times and practice, as well as the future orientation, will provide a more substantial legal guarantee for meeting the new needs of the people for environmental protection rights, Lyv said.

Sabine Schlacke, a professor at Germany's Greifswald University, said that global awareness of environmental protection has gradually increased since the 1970s, and environmental rights have been gradually incorporated into the constitution and relevant laws of different countries and regional international treaties. Such national goals tend to become fundamental rights, she added.

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