We are concerned about the increasing disconnection of children from nature. The significant decline in the quality and quantity of children's direct experience of the natural world is the result of global developments such as urbanization, biodiversity loss and deforestation.
Research shows that the disconnection from nature has adverse consequences for both healthy child development ( 'Nature Deficit Disorder') as well as responsible stewardship for nature and the environment in the future.
1. Every child has the inherent right to connect with nature in a meaningful way as part of his or her everyday live. In order to develop a meaningful connection with neature:
- Every child has the right to grow up in a 'green' environment, that enables him or her to connect with nature;
- Every child has the right to the direct experience of nature ( for example through outdoor play or by growing it's own food).
- Every child has the right to access to nature areas;
2. Every child has the right to be fully prepared and equiped for the responsibility to help address the environmental challenges, and to help realize a sustainable and just world, that values nature and where people live in harmony with nature.
3. Every child has the right to a clean an healthy environment, and to have the environment protected, fo the benefit of present and future generations.Summary of the draft discussed by experts during a high level expertmeeting in the Netherlands on 17 November 2011, chaired by prof Cees Flinterman, honorary professor of human rights and member of the UN human rights committee.
The Child's right to Nature Initiative was started by dr. Annelies Henstra, a human rights lawyer and is now hosted by IUCN national Committee of the Netherlands.
The core group of the initiative comprises the NatureCollege Foundation (chairperson is Her Royal Highness Princess Irene of the Netherlands,
Stand Up For Your Rights ( chairperson is human rights lawyer Jan van de Venis) and
IUCN NL. Many organisations have endorsed the initiative.