(Aarhus) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

The Aarhus Convention is a regional instrument on the rights to access of information, participation, and access to justice, enshrined in Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration. Adopted in June 1998, the Aarhus Convention states that in order to “contribute to the protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in an environment …   Continue reading(Aarhus) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

(Espoo) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context

The Espoo Convention, which entered into force in 1997, obligates its Parties to assess the environmental impacts of certain activities that may cause transboundary environmental harm at an early stage of planning. The Convention also obligates States to notify and consult with affected States with respect to certain proposed projects that are likely to have a significant …   Continue reading(Espoo) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context

Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

The Bali Guidelines were adopted by the Governing Council of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in its decision SS.XI/5, part A of 26 February 2010. They are a set of 26 voluntary guidelines that aim to provide general guidance to States on promoting “the effective implementation of their commitments to Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and …   Continue readingBali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

China’s Revised Environmental Protection Law

In April 2014, China adopted a new framework Environmental Protection Law that entered into force on 1 January 2015. The Law incorporated a wide range of procedural rights guarantees relating to environmental information disclosure, public participation, and access to justice. Chapter V of the Law addresses environmental information disclosure and public participation. …   Continue readingChina’s Revised Environmental Protection Law

Regional Instrument on the Rights of Access to Information, Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean

During the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, ten States from the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region subscribed to a Declaration on Principle 10. By 2014, nine more countries had signed the Declaration, representing more than half of all LAC countries. The signatory countries, which include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Jamaica, expressed their …   Continue readingRegional Instrument on the Rights of Access to Information, Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean

European Union’s Implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to Protect the Environment

The EU 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy endorsed the Guiding Principles. EU institutions and EU member States have made commitments and efforts to support their implementation relating to activities that may impact on the environment. For example, the European Commission (EC) has prepared sector guidelines on implementing the Guiding Principles, including for …   Continue readingEuropean Union’s Implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to Protect the Environment

Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Request for Czech Government to Consider the Transboundary Environmental Effects of a Coal Plant

FSM, with assistance from Greenpeace International, requested a transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA) of a proposed expansion and life-extension of the Prunéřov II brown coal-fired power plant in the Czech Republic through filing a formal objection under the Czech Republic's environmental impact assessment law. Although TEIAs are often triggered by …   Continue readingFederated States of Micronesia (FSM) Request for Czech Government to Consider the Transboundary Environmental Effects of a Coal Plant

Nordic Environmental Protection Convention

The Nordic Environmental Protection Convention, which entered into force on 5 October 1976, promotes international cooperation in remedying transboundary environmental harm by, among other things, allowing reciprocal access to domestic legal remedies between residents of State Parties to the treaty. Article 2 of the Convention incorporates the principle of …   Continue readingNordic Environmental Protection Convention

The Submissions on Enforcement Matters Process of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America’s environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which came into force at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Articles 14 and 15 of the NAAEC provide for a procedure known as the Submissions on Enforcement …   Continue readingThe Submissions on Enforcement Matters Process of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

The Proliferation of Constitutional Rights to Environment

Constitutional rights to a healthy environment are recognized in many national constitutions, with over 90 national constitutions recognizing some form of the right since the mid-1970s. About two-thirds of the constitutional rights refer to health and one-quarter refer to the right in terms of an ecologically balanced environment; alternative formulations include rights …   Continue readingThe Proliferation of Constitutional Rights to Environment

Domestic Implementation of World Health Organisation Standards

States have obligations to protect against environmental harm that interferes with the enjoyment of human rights. In this respect, substantive environmental quality standards help protect human health from environmental hazards. In some cases, international organizations have set substantive environmental standards to protect human health that serve as guidelines for …   Continue readingDomestic Implementation of World Health Organisation Standards