Indian Minister of the Environment and Forests’ Rejection of Application to Mine the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha, India

In January 2014, India’s Minister of Environment and Forests (MEF) blocked an application by Vedanta Resources (Vedanta), a London-based mining company, to clear a forest area to mine for bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The Dongria and Kutia tribes inhabit the areas surrounding the Niyamgiri hills and believe their god lives in the …   Continue readingIndian Minister of the Environment and Forests’ Rejection of Application to Mine the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha, India

National Human Rights Commission of Thailand: Koh Kong Sugar Plantation Case

The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) received a complaint in January 2010 from Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), a Cambodia-based organisation, regarding alleged human rights violations in the Koh Kong sugar cane plantation in Cambodia. The allegations included that a Thai company, through its Cambodian subsidiaries, acted unlawfully. Alleged …   Continue readingNational Human Rights Commission of Thailand: Koh Kong Sugar Plantation Case

Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of India Relating to Environmental Protection

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution of 1949 provides for the fundamental rights to protection of life and personal liberty, stating that “[n]o person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” The Indian Supreme Court in a series of decisions has connected Article 21 with a right to a healthy …   Continue readingJurisprudence of the Supreme Court of India Relating to Environmental Protection

(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

India’s National Green Tribunal

India has created a “green tribunal” to address environmental harms. The National Green Tribunal, which has been operating since July 2011, was established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The Tribunal may provide relief and compensation to victims of pollution …   Continue readingIndia’s National Green Tribunal

(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

Whakatane Assessments, Rights-Based Assessments of Protected Areas

Whakatane Assessments are part of a larger programme called the Whakatane Mechanism, which is implemented by the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), the Forest Peoples Programme, and other indigenous peoples’ organisations (IPOs). According to IUCN, the Whakatane Mechanism “is a process to assess, address and redress situations, …   Continue readingWhakatane Assessments, Rights-Based Assessments of Protected Areas

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights Workshop on Human Rights, Environment and Climate Change

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was established as the human rights body of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2009 to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of ASEAN. The AICHR organised a Workshop on Human Rights, Environment and Climate Change in Yangon, Myanmar from 13 to 15 September …   Continue readingASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights Workshop on Human Rights, Environment and Climate Change

National Climate Change Policy and Sector Guidance Framework

In 2013 the Jordanian Ministry of Environment published the National Climate Change Policy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: 2013-2020, which assesses the impacts from climate change on Jordan and recommends a number of mitigation and adaptation measures. The Policy integrates a human rights approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. For example, the …   Continue readingNational Climate Change Policy and Sector Guidance Framework

Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) for Climate Change

The Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) programme rests on the notion that to gain a voice in policy debates over climate, it is important that rural and indigenous women document their own practices and experiences and are the authors of their own research. Women-led participatory research promotes democratic participation of women in policy making around …   Continue readingFeminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) for Climate Change

National Inquiry as an Investigation Strategy of the Malaysian National Human Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) uses “national inquiries” in order to look into systemic human rights issues. By adopting a broad-based human rights approach, the Commission can examine a large situation as opposed to an individual complaint. National inquiries have a dual focus, fulfilling both fact finding and educational roles. SUHAKAM …   Continue readingNational Inquiry as an Investigation Strategy of the Malaysian National Human Rights Commission

Asia Pulp Paper’s Commitments to Protect Human Rights

Asia Pulp Paper Group (APP) is one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, producing tissue, packaging and paper. In 2012, Greenpeace exposed that some of APP’s suppliers were clearing Indonesia’s natural rainforests, including forest land within indigenous peoples’ territories. In response to Greenpeace’s campaign, APP made commitments to respect the …   Continue readingAsia Pulp Paper’s Commitments to Protect Human Rights

Local Multi-Stakeholder Platforms, Mongolia

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organisation headquartered in San Francisco and with a network of offices in 18 Asian countries, including Mongolia, and in Washington, DC. The Asia Foundation’s current environmental program, Engaging Stakeholders for Environmental Conservation (ESEC), was initiated in August 2010 to address the key …   Continue readingLocal Multi-Stakeholder Platforms, Mongolia

Asian Judges Symposium on Environmental Decision Making, the Rule of Law, and Environmental Justice and the Asian Judges Network on Environment

In July 2010, the Asian Development Bank hosted the first of three Asian Judges Symposiums on Environmental Decision Making, the Rule of Law, and Environmental Justice. Around 120 senior judges, environment ministry officials, members of civil society, and experts in environmental law discussed ways to promote environment protection through effective environmental …   Continue readingAsian Judges Symposium on Environmental Decision Making, the Rule of Law, and Environmental Justice and the Asian Judges Network on Environment

Grassroots Legal Advocates or “Community Paralegals”

Namati is an international civil society organisation dedicated to putting the law in people’s hands through building a global movement of grassroots legal advocates who work with communities to advance justice. The objective of training grass roots advocates is to empower communities to exercise their rights and participate in processes of governing. Namati, working …   Continue readingGrassroots Legal Advocates or “Community Paralegals”

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

Environmental Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

The Philippines’ Constitution includes as a State policy that “[t]he State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” The first major case the Court decided with regard to this clause was the Minors Oposa case, in which the plaintiffs filed a class action law suit on behalf …   Continue readingEnvironmental Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

Advocacy and Ecology: Monitoring of “Hot Spots”

Since 2005, EcoLur has undertaken public information campaigns through the monitoring of ecological “hot spots.” The monitoring analyses the compliance of government authorities’ decisions with, among other things: Article 33.2 of the Armenian Constitution, which provides that everyone shall have the right to live in an environment favorable to his or her health and …   Continue readingAdvocacy and Ecology: Monitoring of “Hot Spots”

Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has enacted Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases that include many mechanisms to facilitate petitioners to bring cases before the Court. The Rules, which list as an objective “[t]o protect and advance the constitutional right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology,” include a broad standing provision for citizens …   Continue readingRules of Procedure for Environmental Cases

Human Rights Defenders Urgent Assistance Programme

FORUM-ASIA’s Human Rights Defenders Programme aims to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders, including defenders of the rights of women, in Asia. One main objective of FORUM-ASIA’s work is to provide urgent assistance and protection to human rights defenders at risk. According to a FORUM-ASIA staff member, many of these defenders are environmental human …   Continue readingHuman Rights Defenders Urgent Assistance Programme

Protection Manuals For Human Rights Defenders

Protection International provides tools and strategies to people who defend human rights, in order to protect themselves. One such strategy is the development of training manuals and other publications related to the protection of human rights defenders. These manuals apply to all human rights defenders, including environmental human rights defenders. To list a few …   Continue readingProtection Manuals For Human Rights Defenders