Human Rights and Climate Change: Foro ACT Honduras Met with Special UN Rapporteur


The last week of September, the UN Special Rapporteur for the promotion and protection of human rights in climate change, Ian Fry, visited Honduras to asses the negative effect of climate change in human rights of the most vulnerable communities, particularly those which inhabit the Dry Corridor or those within the scope of hurricanes and sea level rising.

Claudia Espinosa, Regional Representative of the  Alianza ACT  for Latin America and the Caribbean spot the opportunity to promote a dialogue between the Narrator and the Honduras Forum about the worries and actions carried out by the members of the country within the framework of the Alianza ACT. In coordination with  Julius Mbatia, Manager of the global programme of Climate Justice of the Alianza ACT and the Honduras Forum, the conception of a unique meeting place was achieved. Carlos Rivera, coordinator of the Honduras Forum, tells here the main events in this gathering.

In which context was the meeting held?

The meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur for the promotion and protection of human rights in climate change, Ian Fry, was held in a context of serious threats and violations of human rights of people who dedicate their lives to the protection of natural property and in light of the rising in human displacement in the country, particularly young people, due to the climate change- related crisis.

The work of the forum in this area stands out for representing a voice that joins other national platforms and organisations in the country speaking up to denounce the needs and problems of the communities, promoting capabilities strengthening processes to deal with the situations which most affect them.

Which topics cought your attention?

During the meeting we were able to discuss different topics:

The challenges we face in Honduras in relation to climate change and its negative effect on human rights: one of the main consequences is the displacement of communities due to the recurrence of natural phenomena (droughts or excessive precipitations) that lead to the loss of crops and, ultimately, to food insecurity.

The quandary that violation of human rights represents of natural property protectors: particularly the death threats received by the staff of some organisations members of the Honduras Forum of ACT Alianza. The case of José Ramiro Lara, member of the Association  of  Non governmental Organisations (ASONOG) stands out.

The willingness and interest from ACT Alianza, expressed through the forum and the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Secretary to coordinate common interest areas with the Rapporteur related to positive responses in the area of climate change and human rights, the latter with the purpose of seeking solutions to proposed issues and others to be included in their report.

The meeting was a reminder on the importance of including voices in favour of the causes that affect the most vulnerable communities, whose claims are not really heard due to their vulnerable stat and that require global and national levels processes to have a better response on the side of those who affect the course of their lives.

After the meeting, what do you think could be the role of the regional forums in terms of incidency?

My thoughts on this topic are, first, that we have not been making the most of the driving force and the ability to create substantiated proposals if we consider our broad experience and the member organisations’ in operating in the more complex and relevant topics for the population in this context.

Second, that the Alianza ACT i sable to hold an outstanding role in  the processes of evidence production for the incidency. Equally, with its capacity of being globally recognised, it can also hold the role of an articulator in the incidency environments, particularly those of regional and global incidency. The meeting of the Honduras Forum with the Rapporteur is a good example of the drive and possibilities provided by the Secretary of the Alianza.

Lastly, I could recommend that the Regional Secretary considers the possibility of implementing a training process in Incidency targeted to the members of the Center American and regional forum. In addition to the training process, there could be a final product: a plan of incidency of regional scope.

Where there any agreements stemming from the meeting?

During the meeting the Rappoteur expressed that he has had the chance o fan interview with a wide range of people and organisations, who have presented the topic from different points of view , which will allow him to count with information sufficient to produce a report with broad content. He also posed some questions that enabled clarification and deepening in topics related to climate change and human rights violations of environmentalists. Finally, he congratulated the Forum

Do you have any thoughts on the role of the ACT Alianza in Latin America and the Caribbean and its forums in relation to human rights and climate justice?

I would like to share with the region my final thoughts on the role of the forums in Latin America and the Caribbean and their potential. Here, I think that they should count with permanent processes of context and reality analysis, particularly in topics sensitive for the life of most of the population, such as climate change, human rights, human displacement and gender. The Alianza ACT could strengthen their ties with the forums and the regions, the capabilites and incidency mechanisms of members, prioritizing local actions. In addition to being a driver in the processes enhanced by the regional and country-level forums, the Secretary is also an institution that empowers the ACT Alianza processes in the region.

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