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Statement by the Director-General of IDLO, Jan Beagle, on International Earth Day 2020

On International Earth Day, IDLO joins the international community in recognising the importance of a more sustainable development model which meets the needs of the present while protecting the environment and the rights of future generations.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasises the interconnected nature of environmental and development objectives. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity – habitats, crops and species –generates instability and conflict, negates development gains and has its severest impact on poor and vulnerable groups.

Good governance and the rule of law are particularly relevant in times of crisis to promote effective responses to pandemics like COVID-19 but also to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable members of society and preserve progress towards overarching global priorities like safeguarding our planet. Environmental protection and responsible management of natural resources must be part of a rule of law based approach to rebuilding societies and economies in the aftermath of COVID-19.

As an organisation devoted to promoting the rule of law and sustainable development in all regions of the world, IDLO works to promote rule of law-based solutions for environmental sustainability.

IDLO partnered with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to help countries implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits to the Convention. We have worked with governments and legal professionals to develop laws and regulations and build capacity to mainstream biodiversity, promote conservation and helped to 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. Strong laws backing empowered people can help make the difference in moving towards a greener and more bio-diverse planet. This Earth Day let us commit ourselves to a transformative shift towards sustainable choices as part of a more just, equitable and environmentally friendly development model.​


The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.