Environmental rights mean access to the unspoiled natural resources that enable survival, including land, shelter, food, water and air. They also include more purely ecological rights, including the right for a certain beetle to survive or the right for an individual to enjoy an unspoiled landscape.
Environmental rights are human rights, as people's livelihoods, their health, and sometimes their very existence depend upon the quality of and their access to the surrounding environment as well as the recognition of their rights to information, participation, security and redress.
Over nearly 50 years of occupation, Israel’s pervasive policies of land expropriation and confiscation, settlement construction and movement restrictions have severely damaged the access of the Palestinian people to their land in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), thereby rendering the meaningful exercise of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination impossible.
The right to water and sanitation is routinely violated by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including through Israel’s systematic destruction of wells and other water and sewage infrastructure, Israel’s denial of permits to enable Palestinians from developing and rehabilitating infrastructure , maintained unequal extraction and discriminatory distribution of water resources to the detriment of the Palestinians, over-pumping of ground water resources and dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the OPT, causing serious damage to natural resources and the environment.
Our vision of environmental rights include the right to information and participation in decision-making, freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to resist unwanted developments.
Rights can be asserted in a variety of ways: for example, by appealing directly to the violating side, by applying public and media pressure; and by building coalitions with others seeking similar rights.