The Access Initiative (TAI) is set to begin an assessment of environmental decisionmaking in Bangladesh. Funded by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, based in Japan, and the United Nations Environment Programme, TAI partner Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association is currently recruiting civil society partners and a multi-sectoral advisory board. With any luck, a report on the nation's laws and practice as they pertain to access to justice, access to information, access to participation, and capacity-building in environmental decisionmaking will be completed by spring of 2008.
While TAI assessments have been completed in forty countries, Bangladesh will mark the first time that poverty and water are examined as distinct issues. Bangladesh also marks the first time that a funder of an assessment has been so focused on creating change by leveraging the information and credibility that a TAI assessment yields.
In the audio clips below, Lalanath DeSilva of WRI's TAI Secretariat describes why the assessment in Bangladesh is important to the entire region of South Asia; how TAI brought a results-oriented funder and a respected nonprofit together; and the key issues likely to be highlighted in the assessment.