Land and Natural Resources

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Ashghar Leghari, a farmer and lawyer, sued the Pakistani government for inaction vis-a-vis climate change, claiming that this inaction, “delay, and lack of seriousness” violated the fundamental rights of life provided by the Constitution, since climate change posed a serious threat to water, food, and energy security in Pakistan. Further, Leghari argued the “effects of climate change can be addressed through mitigation and adaptation.” 

On 19 December 2022, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, held in Montreal, ended with the adoption of the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” (GBF), a landmark agreement on measures considered critical to address the dangerous loss of biodiversity and restore natural ecosystems.

There is no denying that the historical and present responsibility for the climate crisis lies primarily with wealthy, highly industrialized countries and powerful corporate actors. Despite contributing the least to the climate crisis, frontline communities in the Global South are paying the price with the destruction of their territories and the erasure of their cultural heritage.

These two cases are part of a group of six cases involving Nigerian farmers seeking compensation for the environmental and livelihood damage they suffered as a result of oil leakages from Shell’s pipelines in the villages of Oruma, Goi, and Ikot Ada Udo.

Over the past two years, dozens of ESCR-Net members engaged in cross-network discussions to develop the analytical report “Building sustainable peace. Transforming conflict-affected situations for women.” The report argues that in dealing with conflict-affected situations, it is vital to adopt an intersectional feminist approach via a human rights framework, and provides seven lessons and principles to guide the work in the field.

Between 13-29 March 2022, intersessional meetings were held in Geneva ahead of COP15, an upcoming major United Nations biodiversity summit. Ahead of these preparatory talks amongst States, ESCR-Net members sent a collective letter calling on all Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to adopt a human-rights based approach overall, and in particular to recognize, respect, protect and promote the overarching right to self-determination, including free, prior and informed consent, the right to land and tenure rights in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), which is currently being negotiated and likely to be adopted at COP15. It further called on governments to adopt a ‘land tenure indicator’ as well as emphasized the importance of strengthening protections for human rights defenders.

Ahead of upcoming intersessional meetings in Geneva in March 2022, ESCR-Net members have adopted a...

The claimants in this action are the Ogale and Bille communities in Rivers State, Nigeria, representing approximately 50,000 individuals. The claimants allege widespread environmental damage, including groundwater contamination, as the result of oil spills by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). The two defendants are Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS), the UK parent company, and SPDC, a Nigerian-registered subsidiary of RDS.

On 27 April 2021, ESCR-Net co-hosted an online discussion on land rights. Over 50 members from across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and North America, convened virtually to learn from each other’s experiences and strengthen shared analysis and...

In September 2011, 3,000 families were given only 7 days prior notice before they were evicted from the land next to the Wilson Airport. Their shelters were destroyed. The Kenya Airports Authority owned the plot of land next to the airport, but the resident families of the Mitumba Village had occupied the property for some time.