05 Nov 2019

Venue: Palais des Nations | Room XXI

Organization: Geneva Environment Network

This event reflected on the importance of addressing human rights in climate action, including through the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It illustrated the importance of a rights-based approach to climate change and climate action, with a focus on two specific themes: land and human mobility.

About this Session

The issue of land, human rights and climate change is currently being reviewed by the Committee on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights as the committee is finalizing the drafting of its upcoming General Comment on Land and the Covenant. In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Special Report on Land it is stressed that participatory and rights-based policies in the land sector could contribute effectively to mitigating climate change and to strengthening resilience. Therefore, a rights-based approach to land is key to ambitious climate action limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas provide critical legal frameworks for a rights-based approach.

The recent IPCC special reports have confirmed the importance of anticipating climate-induced human mobility that is triggered both by extreme weather events and by slow and sudden onset events. These changes have been addressed through various institutions, including the Global Compact on Migration, the Sendai Framework, the Human Rights Council and its special procedures, the Platform on Disasters Displacement and the Task Force on Displacement established under the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss & Damage.

The upcoming Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC is expected to deliver relevant decisions related to both of these issues during their next convening. This includes the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism, the guidelines related to carbon trading mechanisms and the continuation of several work programmes relevant to the land sector.


  1. To consider protection gaps and opportunities to strengthen the protection of human rights in the context of climate change in the context of land and human mobility.
  2. To reflect on the importance of rights-based approaches to climate change, particularly in relation to land-related issues and human mobility under the Paris Agreement.


Moderation: Sébastien Duyck, CIEL

1st Panel

  • Integrating the rights of indigenous peoples in climate action, Binota Moy Dhamai, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
  • Promoting synergies between land and climate governance, Marcos Montoiro, UNCCD
  • Climate impacts and relocation: lessons from Alaska, Robin Bronen, Alaska Institute for Justice
  • Protecting and fulfilling the rights of persons displaced by climate change: gaps and opportunities, Tetet Lauron, Rosa Luxembourg Foundation
  • Climate change and human mobility, Atle Soltberg, Platform on Disaster Displacement

2nd Panel

  • Addressing Loss and Damage effectively to protect communities at the frontlines of climate change, Isaiah Toroitich, ActAlliance
  • Integrating human rights in the national implementation of the Paris Agreement, Amanda Kron, OHCHR
  • H.E. Ambassador Frank Tressler, Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva (Closing remarks)




The event was live on Facebook.