A new toolkit for community-based action, using strategies tested in Mongolia and other places, enables local citizens to fight for anti-pollution laws.
access to justice
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.
A new report from World Resources Institute’s (WRI) The Access Initiative reveals that Asian countries are not effectively telling people if the water they use for drinking, farming and fishing is polluted or dangerously toxic.
The Open Government Partnership's Subnational Government Pilot Program supports 15 pioneer local governments as they implement plans to strengthen transparency, access to open data, public engagement and accountability systems.
The climate and open government communities have historically worked in silos. That arrangement can't continue if countries are to successfully implement their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
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.
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.
Evaluating "environmental democracy" requires looking not just at the existence of laws, but their implementation.
The need is growing for public access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and enforcement of environmental laws. Without these rights, explain WRI Managing Director Manish Bapna and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment John Knox, people are left marginalized and powerless.
EPA General Counsel Avi Garbow, renowned environmental attorney Rizwana Hasan and others explained at a recent event why citizens' rights to information, public participation and justice are critical for sustainable development.
WRI's new Environmental Democracy Index tracks and scores 70 countries' progress in enacting national laws that promote transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in environmental decision-making.
Top ten countries are: Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Hungary, Bulgaria, Panama and Colombia.
Launch event will be live streamed on May 20, 2015 at 09:30 EDT.
The environmental democracy rights of access to information, public participation, and access to justice in environmental matters have gained currency as key drivers of informed, accountable decision making and citizen empowerment.
Alda Salomao is the director general of Centro Terra Viva, an organization working to secure community land rights in Mozambique. In an interview with WRI's Celine Salcedo-La Viña, she describes the tension between communities in the Afungi Peninsula and a natural gas project.
WRI's new global director of governance, Mark Robinson, explains why governance is important for sustainable development, and highlights its challenges and opportunities.
The “resource curse" describes the paradox where countries rich in oil, gas, and minerals remain largely impoverished. Better transparency—both in how governments spend extractive revenues and how natural resource decisions are made—could help tackle this problem. While some new initiatives are making progress on this front, more needs to be done to ensure that drilling and mining doesn’t come at the expense of communities and the land, water, and wildlife they rely on.
More than 70 percent of Samarinda’s land (the capital of Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province) is allocated to mining concessions, and little information is provided to citizens on companies’ compliance to safety and environmental health rules.
In the hopes of preventing mining fatalities, the Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM), a group of Indonesian NGOs and community organizations, requested information from the Indonesian government to determine what companies were doing to mitigate mines’ environmental and health impacts. This process prompted the STRIPE project, which will focus on building strong civil society coalitions to advocate for corporate disclosure of information.