How is the changing environment impacting on human rights? Leading academics and politicians will debate the issue next week at the Australian Human Rights Centre's (AHRC) symposium, Securing the Environment: the challenge of protecting human rights in a changing environment.

Speaking at the symposium are•The Hon. Peter Garrett AM MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Heritage and the Arts.•Professor Matthew England, Climate Change and Environmental Dymanics Laboratory, UNSW. •Dr Jane McAdam, Faculty of Law, UNSW•Dr Hilary Bambrick, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU

The speakers will explore the environmental, health and legal consequences of climate change. They will highlight research demonstrating that climate change and environmental degradation present critical challenges to the protection of human rights and the overall security of the nation.

Professor England will address how the planet's climate system will change over the next 10-50 years, focussing on those changes that will have a direct impact on coastal communities, low-lying island nations, access to water and food supply.

Dr McAdam will focus on the legal rights of 'climate change refugees'. She will look at what responsibilities States have under international law to the people who will be displaced by climate change, whether this requires a new response or whether we can accommodate the movement of people through existing mechanisms.

According to AHRC Director Associate Professor Andrea Durbach: "The Prime Minister has frequently pitted the right to work against the right to a secure environment as his key argument for resisting emission reduction. This stance is regrettable given the widespread and irreversible economic and social implications of climate change for Australian citizens and our neighbours."

When: 6.30pm, Wednesday 2 MayWhere: Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia BuildingRSVP: Please call 02 9385 1803 or email to book tickets or for more information.

Media are welcome to attend the lecture. Professor England and Dr McAdam are available for interview.

Media Contact: Victoria Collins, UNSW Media Office, tel. 02 9385 3263, 0412 980 044 or