UN Climate Summit 2014: LIVE BLOG

WRI will be liveblogging during the 9/23 summit, tracking major announcements and offering expert commentary throughout the day.

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Blog Posts: Access Initiative

  • What Does Environmental Democracy Look Like?

    At its core, environmental democracy involves three mutually reinforcing rights: the ability for people to freely access information on environmental quality and problems, to participate meaningfully in decision-making, and to seek enforcement of environmental laws or compensation for damages

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  • UNEP’s New Access to Information Policy Falls Short of True Transparency

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its first-ever access to information policy last week. The pilot policy—which will be revised after its first year—aims to “enhance transparency and openness” in the organization’s work. But despite its noble aspirations, the policy falls far short of providing true transparency.

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  • Struggles in East Kalimantan Underscore Need for Better Access to Environmental Information

    More than 70 percent of Samarinda’s land (the capital of Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province) is allocated to mining concessions, and little information is provided to citizens on companies’ compliance to safety and environmental health rules.

    In the hopes of preventing mining fatalities, the Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM), a group of Indonesian NGOs and community organizations, requested information from the Indonesian government to determine what companies were doing to mitigate mines’ environmental and health impacts. This process prompted the STRIPE project, which will focus on building strong civil society coalitions to advocate for corporate disclosure of information.

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  • New Jakarta Declaration Aims to Strengthen Rights to Environmental Information in Asia

    Increased industrialization in Asia has created countless hurdles for communities to protect themselves from pollution. Important government information—such as the amount of pollutants being discharged by nearby factories or results from local air and water quality monitoring—still isn’t readily accessible in user-friendly formats. This practice often leaves the public entirely out of decision-making processes on issues like regulating pollution or expanding industrial factories. In many cases, the public lack the information they need to understand and shield themselves from harmful environmental, social, and health impacts.

    This state of affairs recently prompted a group of government officials, NGOs, local community representatives, and academics to demand government action to change the status quo. Last week, representatives from China, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Thailand released the Jakarta Declaration for Strengthening the Right to Environmental Information for People and the Environment. The Declaration urges governments to improve access to information on air and water quality pollution in Asia—and offers a detailed road map on how to do so.

    The Declaration stemmed from a meeting organized by WRI’s the Access Initiative and the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, held last week in Jakarta. Representatives will now bring the list of findings and recommendations to government officials in their home countries and ask for commitments on increasing transparency.

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  • RELEASE: 14 Latin American and Caribbean Countries Adopt an Ambitious Plan of Action to Improve Access Rights in the Region

    Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries adopted an ambitious Plan of Action to improve access rights in the region, including access to information, public participation, and access to justice.

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  • India's Environmental Detectives

    Lawyers in India advocate for environmental rights, one case at a time.

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  • What Does Environmental Democracy Look Like?

    Environmental democracy is about government being transparent, accountable, and involving people in decisions that affect their environment. 20 countries in The Access Initiative (TAI) network are expanding their work to promote environmental democracy. Here is a summary of what's ahead in 2008 and beyond.

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  • Greenwatch Uganda Champions Information Rights

    Laws alone are not enough to ensure environmental protection. Civil society organizations often play a critical role in bringing those laws to life. In Uganda, Greenwatch has done exactly that for the country's laws on access to environmental information, the first of which passed in 1998.

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  • Global Civil Society Initiative Expands to China

    The Access Initiative (TAI) and its partners are launching the first of its kind assessment of environmental governance in China. It is the first step towards engaging civil society organizations and government agencies to promote the public transparency, participation, and accountability that are essential foundations for sustainable development.

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