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Earthjustice Congratulates Newly Appointed United Nations Special Rapporteurs Astrid Puentes Riaño and Elisa Morgera

UN announces appointments of Special Rapporteurs for the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and the protection of human rights in the context of climate change


Kathryn McGrath,

Today at the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ms. Astrid Puentes Riaño was appointed the next United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Ms. Puentes Riaño, a Colombian lawyer and expert on international law based in Mexico, is the first person from the global South and the first woman of color to be appointed to this position.

Earthjustice congratulates Ms. Puentes Riaño as well as Ms. Elisa Morgera, who was appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. Ms. Morgera is an academic, whose work relates to the inter-linkages between international environmental and human rights standards.

Statement of Earthjustice Senior Vice President of Programs Sam Sankar:

“Ms. Puentes Riaño has spent her entire career at the forefront of the movement for recognizing a human right to a healthy environment and protecting people from pollution and environmental destruction. Earthjustice has been privileged to work closely with Ms. Puentes Riaño for the 18 years she served as co-executive director of AIDA, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, a leading international environmental organization in Latin America.  This appointment recognizes her leadership and that of the entire Latin American region in advocating for the right to healthy environment as a fundamental human right. It could not come at a more critical time: the global community must act now to prevent pressing and substantial threats to the environment.”

Astrid Puentes Riaño leads a workshop in 2010.
Astrid Puentes Riaño leads a workshop in 2010. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

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