Indigenous peoples and other local communities have long argued that they play a central role in safeguarding more than half the world’s land, including much of its forests. The world’s leading climate scientists now agree.
Sustainable Development Goal 16
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
To build societies that will serve people’s needs and protect essential resources, countries must build individuals’ and communities’ ability to engage in environmental decisions that impact their lives.
WRI’s Governance Center support all stakeholders—governments, civil society and private actors—in their quest to achieve climate resilience and sustainable development. To accelerate this transition, we focus on enhancing the capacity, inclusivity, transparency and accountability of their institutions (SDG 16.5, SDG 16.6, SDG 16.7). Central to our effort is providing accessible public data about environmental risks and government responses (SDG 16.10) and ensuring responsive, inclusive and representative decision-making (SDG 16.7).
WRI works to combat environmental injustice, attacks on environmental defenders (SDG 16.1), and discrimination against disadvantaged and marginalized communities in decision-making (SDG 16.3, SDG 16.7, SDG 16.B), and to improve access to information, promote transparency and establish environmental rights. With governments, we develop coalitions and partnerships for sustainable development, such as the Global Commission on Adaptation (SDG 16.8). WRI is part of the steering committee for the Defending Land and Environmental Defenders Coalition, which seeks to prevent attacks on environmental defenders. Through the Access Initiative, WRI works with partners around the world to secure ratification of the Escazú Agreement, a treaty that guarantees environmental rights in Latin America and the Caribbean and protects for environmental defenders.
In too many countries, decision-making on climate change rests solely in the hands of a limited set of policymakers and planners. This is a lost opportunity to build awareness, political commitment and accountability for the kind of transformational change needed to get the world on a more sustainable path.
Four environmental defenders are murdered every week in Latin America and the Caribbean. A new regional agreement aims to protect them and provide all citizens with environmental rights.
Threats against environmental defenders are rising in Latin America and the Caribbean. An agreement being negotiated this week could protect the region's activists.