The Environmental Democracy Legal Index (EDLI) is a diagnostic tool, legal index, and interactive map being developed by The Access Initiative (TAI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to assess the status of a country’s laws against the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Guidelines for the development of national legislation on access to information, public participation, and access to justice on environmental matters (Bali, 2010). EDLI is free and open to use by citizens, NGOs, academia, governments, and companies to determine legal gaps and develop reform proposals. It will allow citizens and lawmakers to track their country’s progress towards implementing Principle 10 legislation through the use of an online index and interactive map.
If a country receives a high score, its laws are well-aligned with the UNEP P10 Bali guidelines and will probably need very little improvement. If a country’s score is low, it is likely that opportunities to access information, participate in decision-making, and access remedies or grievance mechanisms are few and that major legal reforms are needed. While EDLI does not assess the implementation of the law, researchers may flag implementation issues as comments when ranking the indicator.
EDLI is being pilot-tested in 13 countries in 2013 and—with the generous support of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative, Dutch, SIDA and IrishAid—will be deployed in over 100 countries in 2014. Countries will be re-evaluated every two years thereafter to measure progress towards the Guidelines. The inaugural launch of the research will occur at the 2014 Eye on Earth summit. .