ESCR-Net contributions to the UN to address climate justice with a focus on loss and damage

Publish Date: 
Monday, April 22, 2024

The Loss and Damage Fund must create a mechanism that enables meaningful participation of the frontline communities.


This submission is developed collectively and endorsed by 38 human rights and environmental organisations, social and peoples’ movements including feminist and Indigenous movements, -members of ESCR-Net- in response to the call for inputs to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development addressing climate justice with a particular focus on loss and damage.

The submission addresses realities of loss and damage highlighting case studies shared by frontline communities from different regions who are experiencing direct impacts of loss and damage and how it affects their right to development. Furthermore, the submission highlights members' analysis on States legal and moral obligations, corporate accountability. ESCR-Net members also continue to reaffirm that financing for loss and damage must be delivered grounded in human rights on the basis of equity and cannot be seen as a charity or a relief fund. For this, the administration and operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund must:

  • Operate based on Polluter Pays and CBDR-RC principles. Climate debt of the Global North countries must be paid based on the principles of Polluters pay and CBDR-RC. 
  • Create no-debt and be granted in the form of public finance. The LDF must provide grant-based finance to prevent the creation of new debts adding to the burden of the Global South countries vulnerable to the impact of loss and damage.
  • Ensure meaningful and effective participation of frontline communities disproportionately affected by the impacts of loss and damage. The Loss and Damage Fund must create a mechanism that enables meaningful participation of the frontline communities particularly in decision-making processes related to modalities, disbursement, implementation, and monitoring of the Fund.
  • Recognise and respect the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples. Strengthening collective rights such as FPIC and the right to self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, as well as rights to ownership of land, including coastal land, territory and resources, and tenure rights may lead to reducing vulnerability in the context of loss and damage.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability. Transparent reporting, effective safeguards and redress mechanisms in line with international human rights standards and instruments, as well as the Paris Agreement, must be in place to prevent human rights violations and enable access to justice in the operationalization of the LDF.


Members contributing to the submission:

1. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Thailand/Regional;

2. Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida, Colombia;

3. European Center For Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Germany/Regional;

4. FIAN International, Germany/Global;

5. International Accountability Project (IAP), United States/Global;

6. International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), Malaysia/Global; 

7. Kavita Naidu (individual member);

8. La Ruta del Clima, Costa Rica;

9. Lien Vandamme, Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Switzerland/Global;

10. National Fisheries Solidarity Organisation (NAFSO), Sri Lanka;


Members endorsing the submission:

1. Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma), Thailand;

2. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Thailand/Regional;

3. Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA), United States/Regional;

4. Botswana Khwedom Council, Botswana;

5. Center for Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESR), United States/Global;

6. Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), Mongolia;

7. Centre de Recherche sur l'Environnement, la Démocratie et les Droits de l'Homme (CREDDHO),

Democratic Republic of the Congo;

8. Consejo de Pueblos Wuxhtaj, Guatemala;

9. Dibeen for Environmental Development, Jordan; 

10. Due Process of Law Foundation, United States;

11. El Molo Forum, Kenya;

12. Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (EIWEN), Kenya;

13. Endorois  Welfare Council (EWC), Kenya;

14. Franciscans International, Switzerland/Global; 

15. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), United States/Global;

16. Green Advocates, Liberia;

17. Habitat International Coalition, (Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico)/Global;

18. Human Rights Law Network, India;

19. Lok Shakti Abhiyan, India;

20. Manushya Foundation, Laos-Thailand;

21. Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Nigeria;

22. Natural Resource Women Platform (NRWP), Liberia;

23. Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP), Kenya;

24. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Pakistan;

25. Red Chimpu Warmi, Bolivia;

26. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Canada/Global;

27. World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP), Kenya/Global;

28. Zimbabwe People’s Land Rights Movement, Zimbabwe;

Download the submission in English, Spanish, French and Arabic