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IDLO Director-General, Jan Beagle's Statement on International Mother Earth Day

Statement by the Director-General, Jan Beagle, on International Mother Earth Day

On Earth Day, IDLO joins the international community in committing to build back better and greener from the COVID-19 pandemic, towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.

As world leaders convene today at the Global Climate Summit to build momentum towards the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) later this year, IDLO reaffirms its commitment to contribute to restoring our earth and promoting greener, more sustainable, just and inclusive societies through the rule of law.

As an organisation devoted to promoting the rule of law and sustainable development in all regions of the world, IDLO’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024 has identified climate justice as a key objective for its work. The plan commits us to promoting environmental rights, climate resilient development, and improving governance of land and natural resources.

This year’s Earth Day theme is Restore our World. As communities and societies are finding their way in responding to the pandemic and strengthening their capacity to withstand shocks and recover in the midst of a climate crisis, we cannot go back to business as usual.

In these challenging times, good governance and the rule of law are critical to safeguarding our Earth and its biodiversity but also in protecting the most vulnerable members of society from the impacts of climate change.

There is growing evidence that climate change has worsened global inequality, because of its differing impact on economic growth. For example, while the biggest emitters enjoy a per capita GDP which is about 10% higher today than they would in a world without climate change, the lowest emitters have been dragged down by about 25%. The attainment of climate justice therefore requires, that climate action takes into account these inequalities.

The rule of law helps preserve progress and advance us towards better environmental protection and responsible management of natural resources, rebuilding societies and economies in the aftermath of COVID-19.

In implementing rights-based approaches for environmental action, IDLO has worked with governments and legal professionals to develop laws and regulations and build capacity to mainstream biodiversity, promote conservation, and help empower civil society and communities with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.

We also acknowledge the crucial role of women and girls in the sustainable management and use of natural resources. Women’s effective participation in the creation, development and implementation of laws and policies relating to food security, social protection, employment, agriculture, land and natural resources should be an integral part of global efforts to promote greater sustainability and biodiversity.

Protecting the planet and the environment is an act of justice. The rule of law can support and empower people and countries in transitioning towards a greener, more bio-diverse and just planet. This Earth Day let us commit ourselves to a transformative shift to Restore our Earth.