Segments in this Video

Jan van de Venis: Introduction (01:05)


Silver Donald Cameron introduces Jan van de Venis and his work with human rights and development.

Seeing the Bigger Picture (06:10)

Van de Venis shares his thoughts about becoming a lawyer and identifying the link between human rights and sustainable development. He became a lawyer for Greenpeace and started an internal campaign to address human rights and provide a voice for future generations; he created Stand Up for Your Rights.

Development, Human Rights, and Business (04:56)

Van de Venis reflects on the growing awareness of the value of sustainable development in connection with human rights. International law development of human rights and business helps further the awareness.

Genesis of Change (02:02)

Young people bring a new vision to sustainable development and human rights. Van de Venis discusses the concept of the rights of nature.

Interconnectedness (02:16)

The ethical element of the rights of nature is becoming more prevalent. Studies indicate people are more happy and healthy when they have more contact with nature.

World View: Business vs. Humanity (03:31)

Van de Venis discusses conflicts between the property rights of corporations and human rights; more social businesses are emerging. He reflects on the disconnect between work and home.

Integrated Fields (05:36)

Knowledge and contribution are part of a "whole approach" in the integration of sustainable development and human rights. Water is a crucial element in van de Venis' work; we are creating desertification and using water in an unsustainable way. Van de Venis cites water as the basis of global conflict and a chemical spill in Brazil.

Water, Air, and Health Concerns (06:16)

Reports indicate that Sequoia forests are drying out. Van de Venis states that the real cause of many health concerns is that humanity is not living in balance with nature. He discusses the "true pricing" of fossil fuel consumption.

True Pricing (03:47)

Members of the True Price Initiative developed a scientific model that can identify the true cost of a product. Van de Venis discusses charging consumers the true price, and the need for government and an ombudsmen for future generations.

Law, Human Rights, and Development (06:26)

Van de Venis identifies four ways to use the law and discusses using the courts as a way to address climate change and sustainable development.

New Pillar of Consumers (02:14)

A growing group is focusing on the long-term benefits of sustainable development and renewable energy resources. Business and government typically have short-term interests.

Ombudsman of Future Generations (03:44)

Van de Venis explains the use of the word ombudsman and outlines ombudsman activities.

Is an Ombudsman a Persuasive Role? (01:54)

An Israeli parliamentary commissioner stopped several laws that were not in the best interest of future generations. Van de Venis discusses the need for democratic legitimacy and clear morality.

Hungarian Ombudsman of Future Generations (02:55)

The ombudsman has a mandate based on the human right to a healthy environment. Van de Venis cites examples of the ombudsman's duty to remind people of long-term thinking.

Indigenous vs. Western Thinking (03:52)

Indigenous people seem to be better connected to nature and time. People from western industrialized nations are often blind to the global impact of their activities; we designed our lives to be disconnected.

Richness of Well-being (02:44)

Van de Venis states that the happiest people live in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway; the system around the economy protects citizens as a group. He discusses the burden of having to work to make more money.

Grrrowd (04:10)

Grrrowd started as a crowdfunding platform. It uses modern technology to enable people to stand up for their rights and go to court. Van de Venis cites cases and discusses the evolution of the group.

Human Rights Defenders (02:56)

Fishermen that participated in a protest against Petrobas were killed. Grrrowd helps empower human rights defenders. Van der Venis would like to see the media become more involved.

Human Rights and Sustainable Development in the Future (03:53)

Van de Venis believes the concepts of the rights of nature and the rights of animals will significantly progress. He thinks that by 2100 we will either live in a sustainable way or suffer wars as a result of water.

Further Resources (00:40)

Cameron identifies other Green Interviews that viewers may be interested in. Further information about the right to a healthy environment can be found at

Credits: Where Human Rights and the Environment Intersect: Jan van de Venis (00:16)

Credits: Where Human Rights and the Environment Intersect: Jan van de Venis

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Where Human Rights and the Environment Intersect: Jan van de Venis

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This episode of the Green Interview features Jan van de Venis, an extraordinary Dutch lawyer who lives at the intersection of human rights and sustainable development. He’s deeply concerned about the human right to drinkable water for instance but industrial developments often use vast quantities of water and leave it totally contaminated. Sustainable development therefore has to respect the human right to drinkable water and so in addition to running his own law firm Just Law in Utrecht Jan van de Venis is also Director of the Legal Desk at the Swiss water conservation group WaterLex. He’s also cofounder of a public service organization called Stand Up For Your Rights and the President of Grrrowd, which uses crowd funding to support and protect environmental protectors around the world. He’s a member of the influential network of Dutch leaders called World Connectors and within World Connectors he leads the effort to create a new position within governments called the Ombudsperson for Future Generations. Indeed he’s sometimes described as the Netherlands own shadow Ombudsperson for Future Generations.

Length: 72 minutes

Item#: BVL114727

ISBN: 978-1-68272-863-5

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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