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Biodiversity and human rights are closely interrelated, both in positive terms – biodiversity allows the enjoyment of several human rights – as well as in negative terms – destruction of biodiversity often entails human rights impairments. ETOs come into play as many of the components of biodiversity, the threats to biodiversity and the benefits it provides have transboundary or global dimensions, which states need to take into account. In recent years, there has been an increasing understanding in both the human rights system and spaces of environmental governance that the respect and protection of human rights is critical for efforts to preserve biodiversity. This refers especially to groups and peoples that live in close relation with the living environment, such as small-scale food producers and indigenous peoples. Realizing human rights and preserving biodiversity requires an integrated reading of international human rights and environmental law. This chapter gives an overview on the connections between human rights and biodiversity as well as the relevant sources of international laws. It then provides elements for an integrated interpretation and identifies key policy areas that states need to consider complying with their existing obligations, focusing in particular on the impacts of their acts and omissions in other countries.
by Philip Seufert, Suárez Monsalve Suárez, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.