In October 2018, the Environmental Affairs Officer of the Environment and Development Division at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific invited Chris Jeffords and Joshua Gellers (University of North Florida) to contribute
to a report titled “Accelerating Progress: An Empowered, Inclusive and Equal Asia and the Pacific.”
This report was released on March 27, 2019, at the sixth annual Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development.
As contributing authors, Jeffords and Gellers wrote a section about rights-based approaches to sustainable development focusing on how ensuring rights correlates with improved environmental outcomes. Beginning around page 8 of the report, the research
by Jeffords and Gellers demonstrates that ESCAP countries with constitutional environmental rights have higher scores on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index compared to countries without. Furthermore, countries with constitutional environmental rights have faster improvements in environmental quality (measured by EPI) compared to countries without.
As co-authors and individually, research by Jeffords and Gellers (and some of their respective co-authors) has been included or cited in multiple reports produced by or affiliated with the UN. For example, see the news posts about their Practical Guidance on the Implementation and Efficacy of Constitutional Environmental Rights and other research cited in a United Nations report,
and in a recent blog post on open global rights by David Boyd (the United Nations special rapporteur on Human Rights
and the Environment, and associate professor at the University of British Columbia).
Department of Economics