freedom of information
Uganda is one of only 10 African countries with a national access to information (ATI) law. These types of laws are essential to human rights, providing citizens with legal access to the government-held information that directly impacts them—information on issues like mining permits, logging concessions, air quality data, and more. But as researchers are learning, ATI laws on the books do not necessarily guarantee freedom of information.
Increased industrialization in Asia has created countless hurdles for communities to protect themselves from pollution. Important government information—such as the amount of pollutants being discharged by nearby factories or results from local air and water quality monitoring—still isn’t readily accessible in user-friendly formats. This practice often leaves the public entirely out of decision-making processes on issues like regulating pollution or expanding industrial factories. In many cases, the public lack the information they need to understand and shield themselves from harmful environmental, social, and health impacts.
Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries adopted an ambitious Plan of Action to improve access rights in the region, including access to information, public participation, and access to justice.
Can new SEC disclosure rules help bring transparency to Uganda’s oil sector?
Lalanath de Silva, Director of WRI’s Access Initiative, answers questions on how the “right to know” is evolving in both developed and developing countries.
Lawyers in India advocate for environmental rights, one case at a time.
Following the recent violence over natural resource use, Peru has an opportunity to balance economic development with human rights protections.
The first-ever Interactive Forest Atlas for Gabon offers data and tools to support the sustainable management of Gabon’s forests.
Financial stimulus plans could pose a threat to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) around the world.
Growing demand for energy and natural resources has led many low-income, resource-rich countries to open remote areas to industrial development.
On his first full day in office, President Obama issued an Executive Order and several memoranda on transparency and participation in the Federal Government.
The 44th President of the United States will enter office faced with an unprecedented set of complex and urgent challenges, including a fragile financial system, spiraling energy and food prices and renewed demands for leadership to combat global warming.
It would be impossible to identify all the decisions to be made by governments that will affect the environment in different places in the coming years.
On a recent trip into the rainforests of the Indonesian part of Borneo Island, our team got first-hand accounts of the effects, causes---and the possible solutions---to rampant illegal logging.
Environmental democracy is about government being transparent, accountable, and involving people in decisions that affect their environment. 20 countries in The Access Initiative (TAI) network are expanding their work to promote environmental democracy. Here is a summary of what's ahead in 2008 and beyond.
Laws alone are not enough to ensure environmental protection. Civil society organizations often play a critical role in bringing those laws to life. In Uganda, Greenwatch has done exactly that for the country's laws on access to environmental information, the first of which passed in 1998.
The Access Initiative (TAI) and its partners are launching the first of its kind assessment of environmental governance in China. It is the first step towards engaging civil society organizations and government agencies to promote the public transparency, participation, and accountability that are essential foundations for sustainable development.