Human Rights Commission message for Earth Day

| 22/04/2016
CNS Local Life

James Austin-Smith, Chairman, Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Commission: The Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission joins organisations in Cayman and other countries around the world in celebrating Earth Day 2016. The Cayman Islands can take pride at being in the notable position of having a right to environmental protection enshrined in its constitution – something present in less than half of other national constitutions. The right to protection of the environment is secured in section 18 of the Cayman Islands’ Bill of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities.

Earth Day itself will be celebrated this year on 22 April with the theme Trees for the Earth. The theme encourages individuals, groups and states to contribute to the goal of planting 7.8 billion trees over the next five years. The focus on trees aims to help reduce carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere for cleaner breathing air, and to support communities by making them more economically and environmentally sustainable.

The Human Rights Commission sees the relationship between human rights and environmental sustainability as complementary. James Austin-Smith, chairman of the commission, said, “Our beautiful beaches, clear waters, unique native animals and plants all make the Cayman Islands a very desirable place to live. This healthy environment is also an essential foundation of maintaining a good standard of living; everyone has the right to clean air and water, and to enjoy public natural resources.”

Locally, a number of groups will be recognising the importance of environmental sustainability on Earth Day, including the National Trust, the Department of Environment and the Chamber of Commerce. Events such as corporate dress-down days, an island-wide roadside clean-up (now in its 19th year), activities at the Botanic Park, the planting of native species and the removal of invasive species, and the Earth Day Blitz campaign (where volunteers will be stationed throughout the island on 22 April to broadcast the message of protecting the environment to motorists and other passersby) will all seek to raise awareness about Cayman’s unique natural heritage which we all have the right to enjoy and the responsibility to protect.

Other countries around the world and throughout the Caribbean have committed to the message of caring for the environment, including St Kitts and Nevis, which has pledged to plant one tree for each of its 55,000 residents over the next five years; and Jamaica, which is participating in the international Fishackathon encouraging volunteer computer coders and technologists to come up with innovative solutions to problem of worldwide overfishing. The commission encourages everyone to get involved on Earth Day.

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Category: Environment

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure it is present in FEWER than half – not less than half!