We recognize endangered species and degraded habitats as signs of environmental failure, but we rarely acknowledge them as the results of governance failures. Corruption and patronage. Backroom deals and land grabs. Development decisions made without local information, consultation, or support. These all-too-common governance failures don’t just erode our civil and economic rights, they erode our natural heritage as well.
Degraded forests and dying coral reefs often reflect a flawed environmental decision-making process. Illegal logging thrives where forest managers have little accountability. Mining decisions taken in secret often attach too little value to protecting local water supplies or crucial habitat. Plans to exploit any natural resource prepared without input or review by local inhabitants and other affected groups all too often enrich a few but dispossess the larger community and disrupt the ecosystem. Poor environmental governance