Secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples and rural communities are a key ingredient in achieving the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year. Yet as the continued killings of environmental activists around the world show, strong land tenure faces an uphill battle.
The Flint water crisis an example of what can happen in the absence of transparent, inclusive and accountable water quality regulation and public service delivery. And unfortunately, it's just one community out of many throughout the world experiencing this problem.
The LandMark mapping platform reveals some of the underlying reasons why community land rights are insecure in many countries around the world. Without legal rights to the lands they call home, Indigenous Peoples and communities are vulnerable to expropriation and "land grabbing" by outsiders.
Berta Cáceres famously fought against the Agua Zarca Dam, which would have obstructed the Gualcarque River, a source of food and water for local communities. Her murder is tragic, senseless and unfortunately, indicative of more systemic governance problems.
In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama ranked the importance of a climate change strategy on a par with national security, economic equality and a more effective political process. Here are six steps his administration can take this year to cement its climate legacy.
Solving the challenges of air and water pollution will require more than the adoption of top-down solutions or greener technology. It will require countries to address key governance challenges, like inaccessible information and a lack of public participation.
The recent chemical explosion that left more than 150 dead was not only preventable, but reveals a clear breakdown of environmental governance, including poor transparency, corrupt oversight, and insufficient public engagement.
Despite the encouraging expansion of environmental democracy around the world, there are still areas where environmental laws are not being properly or fully implemented. The Environmental Democracy Index reveals four areas where practice is not living up to legal standards.