VIVAT International introduces a VIVAT spirituality of creation, provides concrete proposals for environmental conversion, and connects VIVAT members at the international level to promote the integrity of creation through awareness raising and advocacy.

 

◼ Download

Please download the Eco Life and Action booklet which gives the overall orientation.  The prayer card is designed for A6-size printing, and the check list is in Microsoft Word format so please add your own points.

 

 

◼ Introducing best practices

Please share your activities through your Congregational Contact Person!

 

◼ Link to the useful websites

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals l ENG l ESP l FRA l
  • The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World (UN) l ENG l ESP l FRA l

 

◼ Environmental Advocacy Guide

Facts to develop Actors involved

1. Identify local and national environmental regulations making a parallel or contrast between natural resources, economic activities and human rights affected in the area, impacting the social and cultural dynamics in the region. For example:

  • Activity: Mining
  • Natural resources affected: water
  • Impact: Pollution of the river and lakes
  • Social Dynamic: Cultural changes in the area (food, water collection, gender dynamics…)
  • What is the local/national environmental regulation preventing these issues?
  • What are the companies having industrial/environmental activities in the area?

1.1.  Check by regulations how flora and fauna, water resources, geology, geomorphology, weather, and socio-economic components are involved in environmental licenses, environmental management plans, contingency plans, and others. For instance, in some countries, the authorities have a list identifying flora and fauna that cannot be touched by any environmental license.

1.2.   Gather researches, analysis of environmental problems in the area and how these are affecting the population. For example contamination of drinking water, soil contamination, air pollution, the impact of the dams on the environment, mining, water contamination, biological pollutant, land desertification from monocultures (palm oil, eucalyptus), logging, waste, or nuclear pollution.

1.3. Organize fact-finding about the environmental issue to give assistance and rehabilitation to the victims, to take legal actions, to monitor governments compliance with human rights treaty obligations, and to create awareness in the community. How to gather fact-finding? To look for credible and reliable information with accurate data on what, where, how, when, how many times, why, to do field visits, witness interviews, and on-site inspection, videos, and gather lab analysis, health, and school records when appropriate.

1.4. Look for and recognize previous advocacies of the community about environmental and social issues.

  • Local and National Government.
  • Government entities on the charge of environmental regulations.
  • Academic entities involved (colleges, science institutes).
  • Community organizations which are getting on to needs and issues of population.
  • NGOs.
  • Local, national, multinational, and international Companies.

2. Identify if there is any regulation, law, amendments, and decrees that guide procedures for sanctioning/penalizing companies or people who do not meet the environmental requirements and human rights. For example, in Colombia, there is a specific decree that serves as a guide to fine or sanction entities that do not meet or affect the environment outside particular parameters. We need to be aware that the regulations of some countries have terms such as environmental liabilities or environmental permits that allow “resources to be contaminated” whenever financial compensation is shown, or compensation plans such as reforestation or investment in projects. of the area. Perhaps, this is another area where we can advocate.

2.1. Check over if the population has opportunities to getting from Government entities information about the environmental quality in that area. For example, in many countries, the government issues report about water, soil, air quality in the area.

  • Local and National Government.
  • Government entities on the charge of environmental regulations.

3. Check international agreements which have been added to the laws or special regulations of the country.

3.1. Check if the country has signed international agreements.

  • National Government.
  • Government entities on the charge of environmental regulations.
  • International bodies.
4. Analyze the ecological problems, the local development plans versus Sustainable Development Goals.
  • National Government.
  • Government entities on the charge of environmental regulations.
  • International bodies.

5. Inquire about the socioeconomic dynamics of the companies located in the area, considering whether they are national or international companies, public, private, etc., which could be involved in regional environmental issues and how they are compensating the population and the ecosystem.

5.1. Verify if the communities have had a free, prior and informed consent based on a consensus of a consultation process about a company or governmental environmental proposals.

  • Local, National Government entities.
  • Government entities on the charge of environmental regulations.

6. Check if in your area exist environmental racism and organize your community to advocate for justice. Environmental racism refers to how minority group neighborhoods (populated primarily by people of color and members of low socioeconomic groups) are burdened with a disproportionate number of hazards, including toxic waste facilities, garbage dumps, and other sources of environmental pollution and foul odors that lower the quality of life).

6.1. Share your findings with the community by organizing an informal gathering with your friends, neighbors and other members of your community. Prepare your presentation to inform people of this area of concern and help them to understand it. Be ready with a “call to action.” An action to do as a follow up of this meeting.

  • 6. Local and national government entities, communities.
  • 6.1. Community organizations, neighbors, churches.

7. Make known internationally the environmental injustice that you are fighting through different means (media, public statements, write-in campaigns, boycotts, partnering with international organizations, etc.).

7.1. Network with organizations already fighting environmental pollution in the area.

  • 7. National and International organizations, churches.
  • 7.1. National government entities, local and national NGOs, churches, international entities.

8. Let VIVAT International know for what environmental injustice you are advocating. Write an article for the newsletter, a written statement for a UN conference, a report for the special rapporteur (see below) or UPR.

  • Religious congregations, NGOs partners, VIVAT International National Branch, VIVAT New York and VIVAT Geneva.

 

◼ Treaty Bodies to Send Reports on the Impact of Environment/Climate Change

Title/mandate Contact General Topic
Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises [email protected] Business
Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment [email protected] Environment
Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes [email protected]

Hazardous substance

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples [email protected] Indigenous peoples
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants [email protected] Migrants
Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children [email protected] Trafficking in persons
Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation [email protected] Water and sanitation

For more information, visit UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.