Mexico’s Indice de Participacion Ciudadana del Sector Ambiental (IPC) or Environmental Public Participation Index

Articles 157 y 159 of the Mexican Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente (Environmental Framework Law) establish that the national government must promote public participation in the planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of environmental and natural resource policy. The Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) …   Continue readingMexico’s Indice de Participacion Ciudadana del Sector Ambiental (IPC) or Environmental Public Participation Index

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

Mexican National Human Rights Commission’s Environmental Actions

In Mexico, the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) has played an important part in addressing environmental harms. A constitutional reform in 1999 gave the CNDH full autonomy as an agency with its own budget. The mandate of the CNDH is to “protect, observe, promote, study, and disseminate the human rights protected by the Mexican legal system.” To this …   Continue readingMexican National Human Rights Commission’s Environmental Actions

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”

Patagonia’s Commitments to Protect the Environment and Human Rights

Patagonia, a manufacturer of outdoor clothing and equipment, has implemented innovative initiatives to promote environmental protection and human rights. For example, in 2008, Patagonia began conducting full environmental and social audits of its suppliers. The audit screens companies against Patagonia’s Code of Conduct and its Social and Environmental Compliance …   Continue readingPatagonia’s Commitments to Protect the Environment and Human Rights

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice’s Judgment in Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) v. Nigeria

Articles 6 and 15 of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) establish the ECOWAS Court of Justice. The Court is mandated to ensure the observance of law and of the principles of equity, and to interpret and apply the provisions of the revised ECOWAS Treaty and all other subsidiary legal instruments adopted by ECOWAS. Among its other …   Continue readingEconomic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice’s Judgment in Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) v. Nigeria

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

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

National Ministry: South African Department of Environmental Affairs’ Annual Report

he South African Department of Environmental Affairs publishes an annual report on all enforcement-related activities. This report provides information on statistics for enforcement, including administrative citations and fines issued, criminal cases brought, number of convictions, number of facilities inspected, and number of staff working on compliance monitoring and …   Continue readingNational Ministry: South African Department of Environmental Affairs’ Annual Report

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

Environmental Management Committee (EMC ): A Joint Monitoring Body of Civil Society, Government and the Private Sector in South Africa

In 2008 an Australian company, Coal of Africa (CoAL), applied for a mining right in South Africa on land less than seven kilometres from the boundaries of a UNESCO recognised World Heritage Site called the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape. A civil society organisation called Save Mapungubwe Coalition formed and undertook a wide variety of strategies that included engaging …   Continue readingEnvironmental Management Committee (EMC ): A Joint Monitoring Body of Civil Society, Government and the Private Sector in South Africa

Actions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights sets out a wide spectrum of human rights, including, in Article 24, the right of all peoples to “a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development”, and in Article 16(1), the right of every individual “to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health.” The Charter established …   Continue readingActions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

AKOBEN, Community Environmental Awareness Programme

AKOBEN is a programme that makes environmental law and administrative processes more accessible to communities that do not have the capacity to understand the legal system. It uses a five colour rating scheme to assess the performance of mining and manufacturing operations in a manner that is easily understood by the public. Ratings are annually disclosed to the general …   Continue readingAKOBEN, Community Environmental Awareness Programme

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

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

Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Framework

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international non-profit organisation that promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organisations to become more sustainable and contribute to sustainable development. According to GRI, a “sustainability report is a report published by a company or organization about the economic, environmental and social …   Continue readingGlobal Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Framework

(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

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

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

Citizen Suit Provisions in Environmental Law

Many of the federal environmental laws in the United States allow members of the public to initiate lawsuits in federal court against actors, including corporations, that violate requirements imposed pursuant to federal environmental laws and regulations. Although these provisions are colloquially referred to as authorizations for “citizen suits,” they do not require …   Continue readingCitizen Suit Provisions in Environmental Law

Coca-Cola’s Commitments to Protect the Environment and Human Rights

The Coca-Cola Company, a multinational headquartered in the United States, produces multiple brands of non-alcoholic beverages, including its flagship product, Coca-Cola. In recent years, the company has undertaken many initiatives promoting environmental protection and human rights. For example, the company has adopted a human rights policy, which applies to the …   Continue readingCoca-Cola’s Commitments to Protect the Environment and Human Rights

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Actions on Environment

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights was established under Article 59 of the Kenyan Constitution to (among other things): monitor, investigate and report on the observance of human rights; receive and investigate complaints about alleged abuses of human rights; and take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated. Article 69 of the …   Continue readingKenya National Commission on Human Rights Actions on Environment

Environmental Democracy Index

The World Resources institute (WRI) is a global research organization that works at “the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being.” The Access Initiative is a global network of civil society organisations that promote access to information, participation and justice in environmental decision-making. WRI and The Access Initiative (TAI) are …   Continue readingEnvironmental Democracy Index

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

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

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