Brazilian Ministerio Publico’s Environmental Actions

Article 225 of the Brazilian Constitution states: “All have the right to an ecologically balanced environment, which is an asset of common use and essential to a healthy quality of life, and both the Government and the community shall have the duty to defend and preserve it for present and future generations.” The 1988 Brazilian Constitution provides the Ministerio …   Continue readingBrazilian Ministerio Publico’s Environmental Actions

Indigenous Peoples’ Property Rights – Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights applies and interprets the American Convention on Human Rights in respect to the 20 State Parties who have agreed to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction. Only a State Party or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has the capacity to bring cases before the Court. The Court has developed a strong jurisprudence on …   Continue readingIndigenous Peoples’ Property Rights – Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Environmental Administrative Tribunal

The Environmental Administrative Tribunal, created by the Costa Rican government in its 1995 Environment Act No. 7554, has jurisdiction to hear complaints for violations of all laws protecting the environment and natural resources (art. 111). The Tribunal can carry out on-site visits to determine the nature of environmental damage, and when it finds that a violation has …   Continue readingEnvironmental Administrative Tribunal

Measures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Protect Environmental Human Rights Defenders

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court), which applies and interprets the American Convention on Human Rights in respect to the 20 State Parties that have agreed to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the organ responsible for promoting the observance and defence of human rights in all Member …   Continue readingMeasures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Protect Environmental Human Rights Defenders

Amparo Cause of Action and the Principle of Intereses Difusos in Costa Rica

Article 48 of the Costa Rican Constitution provides for the remedy of amparo in order to maintain or re-establish the enjoyment of rights set out in the Constitution, as well as those of a fundamental nature established in international human rights treaties enforceable in Costa Rica. The amparo cause of action has been construed very broadly, to allow …   Continue readingAmparo Cause of Action and the Principle of Intereses Difusos in Costa Rica

Faciladores Judiciales (Judicial Facilitators)

The Organisation of American States (OAS) began implementing a pilot of the judicial facilitators programme in Nicaragua in the late 1990s and it has grown to a well-established initiative in multiple Latin American countries. The objective of the programme is to improve access to justice among local communities where there have historically been barriers to access to …   Continue readingFaciladores Judiciales (Judicial Facilitators)

Certificación para la Sostenibilidad Turística en Costa Rica/Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism

The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Tourism. Among other tasks, it administers the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) programme, a voluntary points-based system created in 1998 to recognize enterprises’ efforts towards environmentally friendly practices and business models. ICT evaluates each participating business …   Continue readingCertificación para la Sostenibilidad Turística en Costa Rica/Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism

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

The Environmental Jurisprudence of Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Chamber of the Costa Rican Supreme Court has actively implemented the constitutional right to a healthy environment. Since 1995, much of the case law of the Constitutional Chamber has concerned the application of article 50 of the Costa Rican Constitution, which sets forth the right to a healthy environment. The Constitutional Chamber has defined the …   Continue readingThe Environmental Jurisprudence of Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court

Suriname’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Assistants Programme

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), an international effort that was initiated by the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 1/CP.16 2010, ¶ 70), seeks to create incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through a variety of …   Continue readingSuriname’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Assistants Programme

Costa Rican Ombudsperson’s Environmental Actions

he Office of the Ombudsperson is an independent body of the Costa Rican Legislature, which has the general responsibility of protecting the rights and interests of Costa Ricans by ensuring that the public sector meets standards set by the Constitution, statutes, conventions, treaties and general principles of law, as well as standards of morality and justice. It has the …   Continue readingCosta Rican Ombudsperson’s Environmental Actions

Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

The purpose of Executive Order 12898 is to focus federal attention on the environmental and human health effects of federal actions, especially on members of minority and low-income groups, as well as on indigenous peoples, with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities. The Executive Order requires federal agencies to identify and address any …   Continue readingExecutive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

Costa Rica’s State of the Nation Report

The State of the Nation Report is an annual report that serves as a performance monitoring system for Costa Rica, through the selection, measurement and evaluation of a wide range of components of sustainable human development. The report was established as part of the Programa Estado de la Nación/State of the Nation Program in 1994 as a UN Development Programme project, …   Continue readingCosta Rica’s State of the Nation Report

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

Sustainable Island Resource Management Mechanism Project

The Sustainable Island Resource Management Mechanism (SIRMM) project, which was implemented from 2008 until 2013, sought to ensure the sustainability and maintenance of island ecosystem integrity, health and function through integrated planning and management of island resources. It also sought to strengthen capacities at the systemic, institutional and individual level …   Continue readingSustainable Island Resource Management Mechanism Project

El Salvador’s Environmental Observatory

Since 2001, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) has operated El Salvador’s Environmental Observatory and its predecessor the National System of Territorial Studies (SNET). The Observatory aims to support environmental management and risk management through systematic observation of potential environmental threats related to meteorological, …   Continue readingEl Salvador’s Environmental Observatory

Mendoza Beatriz Silva v. National Government of Argentina

Section 41 of Argentina’s Constitution states: “All inhabitants are entitled to the right to a healthy and balanced environment fit for human development in order that productive activities shall meet present needs without endangering those of future generations; and shall have the duty to preserve it. As a first priority, environmental damage shall bring about the …   Continue readingMendoza Beatriz Silva v. National Government of Argentina

Guatemala’s Climate Change Framework Law

Guatemala adopted a comprehensive climate change framework law in September 2013 (Ley Marco para Regular la Reducción de la Vulnerabilidad, la Adaptación Obligatoria Ante los Efectos del Cambio Climático y la Mitigación de Gases de Efecto Invernadero). The law’s objective is to establish the necessary regulations to prevent, plan for and respond to the impacts of …   Continue readingGuatemala’s Climate Change Framework Law

Community-Based Sustainable Forest Management Plans

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) is a community-based indigenous environmental organization working in the far south of Belize, in a region in the Toledo District that lies between the Sarstoon and Temash Rivers. SATIIM co-manages, with the Belizean Forest Department, the 41,898 acre Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP). The Park was …   Continue readingCommunity-Based Sustainable Forest Management Plans

Project on Reducing Climate Change Risks to Water Resources in Honduras

According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Honduras is one of the most vulnerable countries in Latin America to climate change, with its water resources particularly at risk. Moreover, population growth has led to the increased habitation of low-income populations in areas prone to increased landslides and flooding from climate change-related weather events. This …   Continue readingProject on Reducing Climate Change Risks to Water Resources in Honduras