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

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

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

(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

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

Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures

Most States have adopted environmental impact assessment (EIA) laws, in accordance with principle 17 of the Rio Declaration, which states that “environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national …   Continue readingPublic Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures

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

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

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

Public Participation in the Development of Environmental Laws, Policies, and Regulations

Allowing for public participation in the formulation of environmental laws, regulations and policies is a good practice that can lead to better-informed decisions that reflect the public’s interests and values. Many countries have adopted comprehensive public participation procedures that apply to this context. For example, in Chile, Article 70 of the Environmental …   Continue readingPublic Participation in the Development of Environmental Laws, Policies, and Regulations

Australia’s National Indigenous Climate Change Partnership

The National Indigenous Climate Change (NICC) project is a forum established in 2008 by indigenous leaders to provide dialogue between corporate representatives, indigenous peoples and other experts about issues, risks and opportunities associated with climate change and participation in carbon markets. According to the project’s webpage, the project “(along with …   Continue readingAustralia’s National Indigenous Climate Change Partnership

Community Advisory Groups

The purpose of a Community Advisory Group (CAG) is to provide a public forum for community members to present and discuss their needs and concerns relating to the U.S. government’s program to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. CAGs can assist the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in making better decisions on how to clean up a hazardous waste …   Continue readingCommunity Advisory Groups

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

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”

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

United States’ National Historic Preservation Act

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which was enacted in 1966, aims to preserve historic and archaeological properties by requiring federal agencies to consider the effects of their actions on such properties. The NHPA requires federal agencies to determine whether a proposed project is an “undertaking” which has the potential to affect historic sites, …   Continue readingUnited States’ National Historic Preservation Act

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

Sustainability School Programme, Uganda

The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) is committed to sustainable solutions to Uganda’s most challenging environmental problems through, among other things, monitoring government actions, conducting research, providing educational materials, and organizing affected communities. Since 2010, NAPE has conducted a Sustainability School Programme …   Continue readingSustainability School Programme, Uganda

The Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American 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). The NAAEC established an intergovernmental organization, the Commission for Environmental …   Continue readingThe Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

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

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

Community Protocols

Natural Justice works with local communities and indigenous groups to assist them to prepare protocols that set out their customary, national and international rights relating to their community or territories and the natural resources within them. Natural Justice explains that these protocols serve both a defensive and proactive function. Defensively, they serve to …   Continue readingCommunity Protocols

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

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

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)

The Taking Stock Programme of the North American 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). The NAAEC established an intergovernmental organization, the Commission for Environmental …   Continue readingThe Taking Stock Programme of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

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

South African Waste Information Centre (SAWIC)

South Africa in some cases has gone beyond responding to requests for environmental information by proactively providing environmental information to the public. For example, the Department of Environmental Affairs has created the South African Waste Information Centre (SAWIC), a website that provides a wide spectrum of information on waste management to the public. In …   Continue readingSouth African Waste Information Centre (SAWIC)

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

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

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

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

Mexican Consejos Consultivos para el Desarrollo Sustentable/Consultative Councils for Sustainable Development

Articles 157 and 159 of the 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 Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría …   Continue readingMexican Consejos Consultivos para el Desarrollo Sustentable/Consultative Councils for Sustainable Development

Aarhus Centres

In an effort to support the implementation of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters by providing members of the public with practical resources to exercise their environmental rights under the Aarhus Convention, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) …   Continue readingAarhus Centres

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

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

UN Economic Commission for Europe, Aarhus Clearinghouse for Environmental Democracy

The Aarhus Clearinghouse is a forum to provide information on good practices relevant to the public’s right to access environmental information, participate in environmental decision-making, and achieve justice on environmental matters, areas that are covered by the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice …   Continue readingUN Economic Commission for Europe, Aarhus Clearinghouse for Environmental Democracy