null Joint Statement of Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and His Deputy on Earth Day

Dr. Ákos Kozma, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and Dr. Gyula Bándi, Deputy Commissioner for the Interests of Future Generations call attention to the importance of the protection of all forms of life on Earth in their joint statement issued on the occasion of Earth Day.

The Earth and life on the planet is special and unique, and we must do our best to safeguard it for future generations. “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” – so the saying goes. We live on an amazing planet that is home to specific and everyday living organisms, and naturally, to us, humans. We take it for granted that whatever the Earth provides for us is ours to take. We often consume without self-restraint, and we keep expanding the built environment and polluting nature; we exploit nature without even noticing, and we cast aside the interests of present and future generations.

It follows from Article P) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary that according to the legislator’s will, human life and its vital conditions must be protected in such a way so as to ensure the life chances of future generations, and – as confirmed by the Constitutional Court on multiple occasions – so as not to compromise the latter, in line with the commonly accepted principle of non-retrogression. Due to the above, the protection, preservation and safeguarding of the Earth and life on Earth for future generations is the obligation of the state and all citizens under Article P) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary.

On top of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has fundamentally upset the order of the world as we had known it, now we also have to face the consequences of a war. In a war situation, the life of masses of people can change or be annihilated in a matter of minutes, and in such circumstances, the idea that we should be dealing with environmental protection issues seems too much to ask for. However, we must not forget that what is happening now is also causing serious damage from an environmental and nature conservationist point of view, intensifying the losses and pains of mankind and further prolonging the implications of the war. What we are talking about is effects that are currently threatening and will continue to threaten people’s health as well as the ecosystem, and whose impact will not stop at the borders in numerous cases.

When the humanitarian crisis is over, all of the above will further amplify the difficulty of eventual reconstruction and the restitution of appropriate living environments and conditions because life will become virtually impossible or significantly more difficult in those areas where a healthy environment and clean drinking water cannot be ensured, and where no such food can be produced that would be free from poisonous materials.

In light of the above, the Commissioner and his Deputy, the Ombudsman for Future Generations underline the importance of making peace so that besides the direct human rights related consequences, the humanitarian, environmental and ecological consequences of the war could also be attenuated as soon as possible for the sake of protecting generations present and future.

The Earth is the only place for us to live in. Let us appreciate life and its values, and take good care of them!