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

Environmental Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based in Strasbourg, was established in 1959 with the mandate to review alleged violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Since 1998, individuals can apply to the Court directly. The Court and the Convention are an essential part of …   Continue readingEnvironmental Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

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

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

Norway’s Finnmark Act

Article 110a of the Norwegian Constitution recognizes “the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions enabling the Sami people to preserve and develop its language, culture and way of life.” The county of Finnmark, located in the northeast of the country, is the ancestral land and home of Norway’s indigenous Sami people. After many years of …   Continue readingNorway’s Finnmark Act

Alvari – Community Participation Mechanism

The city of Tampere in southern Finland, which has a population of 220,609 as of January 2014, created an integrated system for public participation called Alvari in 2007. Alvari serves as an advisory working group model enabling citizens to participate in city administration, thus promoting a bottom-up perspective to planning. The initiative created four advisory working …   Continue readingAlvari – Community Participation Mechanism

Provedor de Justiça Portuguesa (Portuguese Ombudsperson) Actions on Environmental Protection

Article 23 of the Portuguese Constitution provides that “Citizens may submit complaints against actions or omissions by the public authorities to the Ombudsperson, who shall assess them without the power to take decisions and shall send the competent bodies such recommendations as may be necessary in order to prevent or make good any injustices.” Article 67 of the …   Continue readingProvedor de Justiça Portuguesa (Portuguese Ombudsperson) Actions on Environmental Protection

Collective Commitments to Implement Constitutional Right

Section 20 of the Constitution of Finland establishes a right to a healthy environment. Among other things, it places the responsibility for protecting the environment on the collective, stating that “Nature and its biodiversity, the environment and the national heritage are the responsibility of everyone.” A program developed by the Ministry of Environment seeks …   Continue readingCollective Commitments to Implement Constitutional Right

Scottish Climate Justice Fund

Scotland’s Parliament has played a key role in addressing climate justice. In March 2012, the Scottish Parliament through a unanimous motion became the first legislative body in the world to explicitly recognize and support the concept of climate justice: “The Scottish Parliament strongly endorses the opportunity for Scotland to champion climate justice, which …   Continue readingScottish Climate Justice Fund

Harava, Web-based Participatory Planning

In 2009, the Finnish Government implemented the Action Programme on eServices and eDemocracy (SADe), a national development project designed to develop new tools for citizen participation and interaction in land use planning. Launched in June 2013 as part of SADe, Harava is an interactive map-based application being used by municipalities, cities, and local governments …   Continue readingHarava, Web-based Participatory Planning

National Meta-Register on Environmental Information (EcoRegister)

Serbia has created a public online database, the National Meta-Register on Information about Environment (EcoRegister) to provide information related to the environment. The database consists of thousands of documents from a wide range of organisations and institutions, including government agencies, private companies, research organisations, non-governmental …   Continue readingNational Meta-Register on Environmental Information (EcoRegister)

Tarkkailija (“Observer”) – Web-Based Environmental Information Observer

Tarkkailija, a map-based web application launched in 2009, seeks to increase access to information regarding environmental and land use projects in different areas and cities by enabling interested parties to identify themes or locations that they would like the application to monitor. Once users specify the habitat, theme or plan that they would like to monitor, the web …   Continue readingTarkkailija (“Observer”) – Web-Based Environmental Information Observer

Environmental Profile of Spain, Providing Ease of Access to Mobile Devices

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has published an annual report since 2004 entitled "Environmental Profile of Spain. Indicator-based Report.” This annual publication provides an overview of the environmental situation in Spain, increases the country’s knowledge about the environment, provides specific data, monitors policies intended to …   Continue readingEnvironmental Profile of Spain, Providing Ease of Access to Mobile Devices

Research on Application of Finland’s Environmental Right

The project partners conducted a research project on the implementation of Section 20 of the Constitution of Finland, which provides, inter alia, that “The public authorities shall endeavour to guarantee for everyone the right to a healthy environment and for everyone the possibility to influence the decisions that concern their own living environment.” This research …   Continue readingResearch on Application of Finland’s Environmental Right

(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

13th Informal Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Seminar on Human Rights and the Environment

The 13th Informal Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Seminar was held in Copenhagen on 21-23 October 2013 with a thematic focus on Human Rights and the Environment. Established in 1998, the Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights regularly brings together government officials, academics, and civil society representatives from ASEM member countries for dialogues on ASEM priorities. …   Continue reading13th Informal Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Seminar on Human Rights and the Environment

North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme between Finland and Tanzania

As a part of the North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme, the city of Tampere and its Tanzanian partner city of Mwanza have worked together to diminish the gap between Northern and Southern municipalities by opening a channel for cities to exchange knowledge, share policies and shape practices inspiring each other. Coordinated by the Association of Finnish …   Continue readingNorth-South Local Government Co-operation Programme between Finland and Tanzania

(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

Ombudsperson on Human Rights’ Focus on Environment

The 1990 Constitution established the Institution of the Ombudsperson of Croatia and mandates it to promote and protect human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, laws and international human rights treaties that Croatia has ratified. Since 2013, Croatia’s current Ombudsperson has implemented three specific areas of work that address environmental issues. …   Continue readingOmbudsperson on Human Rights’ Focus on Environment

Hungary’s Ombudsman for Future Generations

Article P of Hungary’s Constitution provides that: “Natural resources, in particular arable land, forests and the reserves of water, biodiversity, in particular native plant and animal species, as well as cultural assets shall form the common heritage of the nation; it shall be the obligation of the State and everyone to protect and maintain them, and to preserve them …   Continue readingHungary’s Ombudsman for Future Generations

Annual Report on the Environment and the Statistical Environmental Yearbook of the Czech Republic

The Czech Ministry of the Environment (MŽP) has been publishing an Annual Report on the Environment since 1994, and starting in 2005, the Czech Environmental Information Agency (CENIA) has gathered the information that informs the content of the report. The completed report is submitted for approval to the Government of the Czech Republic and subsequently submitted to …   Continue readingAnnual Report on the Environment and the Statistical Environmental Yearbook of the Czech Republic

Cost Rules for Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

Ireland’s Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 seeks to minimize costs associated with qualifying environmental cases by requiring parties, with some exceptions noted below, to bear their own costs in litigation. According to the Act, the cost provisions apply to a “civil proceeding for the purpose of ensuring compliance with, or the enforcement of, a …   Continue readingCost Rules for Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

Czech Republic’s Integrated Pollution Register

The Integrated Pollution Register, created through Czech Law No. 76 of 2002, is a publicly accessible, electronic database documenting environmental pollution from domestic industrial and agricultural facilities. The Register’s objective is to require regular periodical data reporting of releases and transfers of certain substances by companies and offers relevant and …   Continue readingCzech Republic’s Integrated Pollution Register