Post #5 Australia

The environmental movement in Australia began as a conservation movement and was the first in the world to become a political movement.  Australia was home to the world’s first Green party.

The normal and typical environmental movement is represented by a vast array of organizations.  The organizations are sometimes referred to as non-governmental organizations.  These organizations exist on international all the way down to local levels.  Environmental non-governmental organizations (NGO) show many different outlooks and political views and the amount they seek to influence environmental policy in Australia and elsewhere.  The environmental movement today in Australia consists of national and many small local groups with more localized concerns.  There are also 5,000 Landcare groups in six states and two mainland territories.

The normal environmental movement is represented by a wide range of organizations sometimes called non-governmental organizations. These organizations exist on local, national, and international scales. Environmental NGOs vary widely in political views and in the amount they seek to influence environmental policy in Australia and elsewhere. The environmental movement today consists of both large national groups and also many smaller local groups with local concerns. There are also 5,000 Landcare groups in the six states and two mainland territories.

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The Landcare logo and hand sign as demonstrated.  (Source: Landcare Australia)

 

Landcare brings together groups of people who share a common problem and usually live in the same catchment. A catchment is an area that collects and directs water to a common point. By working together in a catchment, land degradation problems can be addressed successfully.

Australia has their own branch of government dedicated to bettering environmental issues called the Department of Environment and Energy.  Their website states that, “The Department designs and implements the Australian Government’s policies and programmes to protect and conserve the environment, water and heritage and promote climate action. The environmental framework is being delivered under four pillars: Clean air, clean land, clean water and national heritage.”

There is also a Australian Human Rights Commission that funded by the government but works independently.  They hope to lead to the promotion of human rights in Australia and hopefully spread internationally as well.

In recent news for the Australian HRC, the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council adopted its annual resolution on “National institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.”  Adopted on September 29th, Australia sponsored the resolution and 62 UN members also co-sponsored the resolution as well.

In general, the Human Rights Council resolution aims to provide National institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.

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The entrance to the Australian Human Rights Commission Headquarters.  (Source: Australian Human Rights Commission) 

The Australian Human Rights Commission applauds and approves of Australia for sponsoring this resolution annually at the HRC.  The commission also appreciates the continued support for national human rights institutions (NHRIs).  The current Human Rights Council resolution included participation and contribution from the NHRIs to all relevant UN system.  The Commission included their input on issues such as the Status of Women, the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities and the Open-ended Working Group on Aging.

The resolution also paves way for the Merida Declaration and the role of NHRIs in implementing and further pushing for progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The inclusion of national human rights institutions helps bring more voices into power as what Farish Noor calls for in “Beyond Eurocentrism.”  Noor talks about there being a huge vast array of culture and diversities and there needs to be more of an exchange of ideas and thoughts and input.  This is especially important for Australia as they are extremely diverse with many different cultures and being one of the most diverse countries in the world.  The human rights commission in Australia is fighting for everyones voices to be heard and for equality for all voices.  This is what Noor would like to see in the world as well as he states, “There is no reason to believe that one of these perspectives is essentially better or more accurate than the other,” (70).

Human rights and climate change then eventually become overlapping issues and they are issues that usually are not addressed together but definitely have a relationship.  For example, climate change could be a reason that there are more displaced people around the world.  There could potentially be 50 to 200 million people being displaced from their homes and creating more international refugees by the year 2100.

There are many courtires where climate change effects have a huge influence on economic, social and political conflict.  These effects include water scarcity, loss of arable land, extreme weather events, shortened growing seasons, and melting glaciers.

Development is hindered by climate change given that many of the world’s poorest citizens depend directly on the environment for all or part of their daily livelihoods, many international development agencies see climate change and development as linked.

 

The Australian Human Rights Commission website provides a report that details the relationship between human rights and climate change.

 

 

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