Citizen-Centered Human Rights and Climate Change Conference:
The Specification of Human Rights on Climate Change
Date and Time: Saturday, February 25th, 2023, 12:00-13:20 (GMT)
Location: Online (Zoom)
Topics: The Specification of Human Rights on Climate Change
Host: HWPL Western Busan & Gyeongnam Branch
Participants: 43 People
Dr. Mariyam Shahida Mohamed, Founder, Direct Democracy Global(DDG), Maldives
Dr. Ibrahim Latheef, Dean, Centre of Postgraduate Studies, Villa College, Maldives
Dr. Md. Abdul Awal Khan, Professor, Dept. of Law, Independent University, Bangladesh
<Profile of Speakers>
<Webinar hosting and watching video of Webinar’s Purpose session>
“I believe that this education plays an important role in making our future generation aware of the risks that we are facing.”
– Dr. Ibrahim Latheef, Dean, Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Villa College, Maldives
“Climate Justice and human rights norms are connected with each other. But, There are so many gray areas in defining and addressing climate justice locally and internationally. Therefore, definition, criteria, conceptual framework, and remedial measures of climate justice should be systematically defined and determined.”
– Dr. Md. Abdul Awal Khan, Professor, Department of Law, Independent University, Bangladesh(IUB), Bangladesh
“I think saving Maldives is just saving the whole world. I hope that something very meaningful can come from this collective intelligence.”
– Dr. Mariyam Shahida Mohamed, Founder, Direct Democracy Global(DDG), Maldives
“Only I have to say that human right and climate changes really Inter-connect. So it is a very interesting thing and human rights and climate change it requires serious discussion connected with international law.”
– Mr. Brijendra Kumar Pal, General Secretary, United Lawyers Association, New Delhi, India
“Here on climate change, it’s the right and duties of every person of the world. It’s not the issue of Maldives or coastal region.”
– Dr. Pyali Chatterjee, Head of Dean, Faculty of law, ICFAI University, India
“I am sure this webinar has ignited the thought provoking idea to encourage global participants to get involved in the action-based initiative to join HWPL initiative to make mass awareness to save future generation and spread the message of peace to resolve the conflict and also impactful in dealing with climate change and human rights issues.”
– Mr. Ashutosh kumar, Assistant Professor, Amity Law School, Àmity University, Patna, India
“Once the Justice is delayed, Justice is denied. Everything has to meet at this point, otherwise nothing can really help and every state should make the process of human right based approach easier.”
– Ms. Sadia Afrin Ishita, Graduate Student, Department of Law, Independent University, Bangladesh(IUB), Bangladesh
Through the presenters of Bangladesh and the Maldives, which are directly experiencing the climate crisis, participants understood the current situation in which human rights in each country are threatened. This webinar established the concept of human rights and provided a concrete understanding of the protection of human rights in climate change by approaching the current situation in countries facing the climate crisis as human rights.
< Introduction Webinar >
In July and October 2022, HWPL(Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light) hosted the human rights webinars entitled “Human Rights revealed by Climate Change”. Through these events, the people of South Asia, including Bangladesh and the Maldives, have recognized the reality of climate change and the need to protect human rights.
This webinar ended successfully with about 50 participants including Human Rights activists, law professors, lawyers, and students. Dr. Mariyam Shahida Mohamed, Founder of Direct Democracy Global Maldives(DDGM), delivered the encouragement.
The webinar established the concept of human rights and provide a concrete understanding of the protection of human rights in climate change by approaching the current situation in countries facing the climate crisis as human rights. In addition, through the Climate Change Education and Climate Human Rights Act, the country and civil society reconsidered the need for peace and created an opportunity to discuss with various perspectives on the practice of human rights protection.
Starting with a video produced by HWPL, a full-fledged webinar began. Two speakers used their expertise to present their positions and informed by the understanding, specific definitions of Climate Change and what attitudes global citizens should have. Afterwards, participants have had time to freely share their impressions(thoughts and opinions) on the topic. Furthermore, they gathered their sincere hearts forming a sense of solidarity with countries and civil society around the world.
< Background Information >
Two-thirds of Bangladesh’s land is less than 15 feet above sea level, with approximately one-third of its population living on the coast. Also, with sea levels expected to rise by 50cm by 2050, Bangladesh could lose about 11% of its land by then, with up to 18 to 50 million people on the verge of migrating due to rising sea levels alone.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index report, Bangladesh is the world’s seventh-highest risk of natural disasters, and 15 to 30 million people are on the verge of migrating from the coast due to rising sea levels. In addition, the increased frequency of cyclones and floods has threatened the livelihood of millions of people, with seawater flowing inland, making it difficult to grow crops and to supply drinking water. Unfortunately, about 3.5 million children in Bangladesh are in urgent need of safe drinking water because of the increased risk of water-borne illnesses caused by the floods.
Meanwhile, almost half a million people in the Maldives are highly vulnerable to climate change as 80% of the country is below 1 m above sea level. Half of the islands inhabited by indigenous people have already reported coastal erosion, and in bad weather with strong winds, seawater enters areas where private houses are concentrated, frequently causing flood damage. Moreover, more than 90% of poor Maldives live in outlying atolls, most of which depend entirely on rainwater or desalination systems.
According to the Associated Press (AP) from Malé(Maldives’ capital), H. E. Ms. Aminath Shauna, the Maldives’ Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, said “The failure to curb global warming, for us, really is a death sentence.” Also, H. E. Mohamed Nasheed, the 4th president of the Maldives, said “The world’s most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis are at the forefront of the climate emergency, and they are on the verge of being disappeared from Earth because of carbon emitted by other countries.”
Eventually, Bangladesh and the Maldives faced multiple questions about the protection of human rights, including the right to life, the right of residence, environmental, and economic rights posed by the climate crisis of flooding, cyclones, and rising sea levels.
< Points of discussion >
➢Dr. Ibrahim Latheef, Dean, Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Villa College, Maldives
▶ I’ve started this project it used in ‘Minecraft’ to educate students. Especially I started with sustainable development goals and then they are a part of it includes human rights.
▶ It is effective to use Minecraft in human rights education. Students can create a Minecraft world that illustrates different aspects of human rights, such as access to clean water, freedom of speech, or the right to education. And they can role-play different scenarios that illustrate human rights issues, such as a protest or a community meeting.
▶ Actually, there are specific aspects of Minecraft that students demonstrated an excellent understanding of relationship between climate change and human rights.
▶ I believe that this education plays an important role in making our future generation aware of the risks that we are facing.
➢Dr. Md. Abdul Awal Khan, Professor, Dept. of Law, Independent University, Bangladesh
▶ What do we understand so far or the theoretical development so far we have that includes climate justice is used to frame a global warming and other impacts and ethical and typical issue rather than purely environmental and physical in nature.
▶ The relationship between human rights and climate change is two-fold, the consequences of climate change have adverse effects on the enjoyment of human rights, and climate policies can lead to rights infringements of marginalized people.
▶ Climate Justice and human rights norms are connected with each other. But There are so many ‘gray areas’ in defining and addressing climate justice locally and internationally. Therefore, definition, criteria, conceptual framework, and remedial measures of climate justice should be systematically defined and determined.
▶ Being one of the developing countries of the world Bangladesh has limited ability to adaptation. Therefore, without international financial and technological support Bangladesh will not be able manage climate change related impacts.
▶ We have an international legal framework that actually connected to climate change. At the same time, we have some international mechanism as well. So international and financial without this kind of support, particularly regional cooperation I would say that it is very important that Bangladesh cannot actually ensure climate justice in larger scale. We need to produce a systematic institutional framework for protection of this issues.
< Audiences impression & Comment >
➢Dr. Mariyam Shahida Mohamed, Founder, Direct Democracy Global(DDG), Maldives
▶ Very often we are doing a lot of work in this SDG 13 as well. but we seem to be doing a lot of work in ‘our own silos’.
▶ It’s very good everyone can come and talk in webinar and go but what are we going to do afterwards? What are we going to do collectively? I think we need to look at something that is meaningful for everyone especially when we look at other countries like most affected countries like Bangladesh Maldives.
▶ We can do nothing we do nothing wrong and we could even disappear from the surface of the earth. So, saving Maldives is just saving the whole world.
▶ We don’t really normally do that networking so that we don’t duplicate each other’s work and I hope that the organizers from a HWPL, and your colleagues would put us all together and do a networking platform maybe about subgroup or something so that we could share our current information and event.
➢Mr. Brijendra Kumar Pal, General Secretary, United Lawyers Association, New Delhi, India
▶ Only I have to say that human right and climate changes really Inter-connect. So it is a very interesting thing and human rights and climate change it requires serious discussion connected with international law and this common thing is respectively help to organize things in such a way that human rights are not violated.
➢Dr. Pyali Chatterjee, Head of Dean, Faculty of law, ICFAI University, India
▶ Actually, this problem is not belonging to a particular country it’s a problem of the entire world. What we have seen during COVID lock down that if we restrict our human movement even for a single day. In that case that had a great impact on the environment. If we do such kind of activity for our environment, for our climate, I think somewhere we will contribute or duty towards the nature.
▶ The thing which is important here is that being an individual what is your contribution. Also, rights come with duty. Here on climate change, It’s the right and duties of every person of the world. It’s not the issue of Maldives or coastal region.
➢Mr. Ashutosh Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Amity University, India
▶ The conclusive aspect of climate justice and human rights is there is no doubt that there is inherent link. But what we need to as a policy maker, and it is a global platform that HWPL is providing, we need to think from the perspective of common but differentiated responsibility principle which is provided in Paris agreement.
▶ As a global citizens, we need to have developed a multilateral diplomatic climate change regime where things are not politicalized because we are witnessing very important factor that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) has said that 2050 will be the last time that we are going to see these probabilities.
▶ Effort of international civil societies and international NGO’s like efforts of HWPL which is doing excellent service to mankind by identifying issues of human rights and climate change. Global effort of UNs, UNEP, UNFCCC and instrument of DPCW initiative of HWPL are the best mechanism which can surpass global diplomatic and political challenges to save the planet.
▶ I am sure this webinar has ignited the thought provoking idea to encourage global participants to get involved in the action-based initiative to join HWPL initiative to make mass awareness to save future generation and spread the message of peace to resolve the conflict and also impactful in dealing with climate change and human rights issues.
➢Ms. Sadia Afrin Ishita, Graduate Student, Department of Law, Independent University, Bangladesh(IUB)
▶ Once the Justice is delayed, Justice is denied. Everything has to meet at this point, otherwise nothing can really help and every state should make the process of human right based approach easier.
< Henceforward plan >
– The results of the webinar will be promoted to the Ministry of Home affairs, and Justice and Environment-related Departments, Maldives and Bangladesh. (Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture & Environment, Climate Change and Technology)
– With direct communication with high-level and civil society, HWPL aims to network with civil groups and youth residing in Maldives and Bangladesh to deal with climate disaster. Educational programs and campaigns on climate crisis and protection of human rights will also be conducted. With the participation of experts related to the climate crisis and human rights, HWPL will enhance the completeness of the webinar and through MOUs with the regional intergovernmental organizations.
– Periodic webinars will be further conducted to serve as the place for casting experts and presented at international conferences, including parallel events of the UN Human Rights Council, so that they can be disseminated globally.
<Webinar Commemorative photo>