Photo: Claudia Ituarte-Lima/SRC

Stockholm seminar

Human rights, climate change and biodiversity

Seminar with John Knox, Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University, USA, 20 October 2017

This Stockholm Seminar is arranged in cooperation with the Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Center and includes complementary presentations by:

Prof. Jonas Ebbesson: “From having a right to enjoying a right: procedural dimensions”
Dr Claudia Ituarte-Lima: “Beyond borders: biodiversity, climate change and human rights law”

A healthy and sustainable environment is necessary for the full enjoyment of human rights, including rights to life and health. At the same time, the exercise of human rights such as rights to information, participation, and remedy is necessary for the effective protection of the environment. Professor Knox, the first UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, will describe this interdependence, and explain how it relates to two of the greatest environmental challenges of our time: climate change and the loss of global biodiversity. This presentation will be followed by two complementary presentations deepening on issues raised by the human rights and environmental nexus.

About John Knox

John H. Knox is the Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University, North Carolina. In 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed him to be the first United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, and in 2015, it renewed his mandate for three years and changed his title to Special Rapporteur.

In the course of his work for the United Nations, he has conducted consultations around the world, undertaken country visits, and published a series of reports on the relationship between human rights and environmental protection.

Professor Knox received his law degree with honors from Stanford Law School in 1987. From 1988 to 1994, he served as an attorney-adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where he participated in the negotiation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

Between 1999 and 2005, he chaired an advisory committee to the US Environmental Protection Agency on North American environmental cooperation. From 2008 to 2012, he was Special Counsel to the Center for International Environmental Law and provided pro bono advice to the Government of the Maldives on climate change and human rights.

About Jonas Ebbesson

Jonas Ebbesson is Dean of the Faculty of Law and Professor of Environmental Law, Stockholm University and Chair of the UNECE Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee. He is also Director of the Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, Stockholm University. In his research, Professor Ebbesson essentially focuses on transboundary dimensions of environmental law.

About Claudia Ituarte-Lima

Claudia Ituarte-Lima is international environmental law advisor for SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and researcher at SRC. She holds a PhD from University College London. Dr Ituarte-Lima specialises in legal and governance transformations for sustainable development and environmental justice.

Event details

Friday 20 October 12.00-13.00

Linné Hall, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Lilla Frescativägen 4A, Stockholm


Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201