Our Work

We envision a world in which decisions that impact the quality of the environment—and thus the quality of people’s lives--are made openly and in consultation with and accountable to all those affected. However, millions of people around the world cannot exercise these rights and thus cannot help shape their own development outcomes. 

 

Creating a strong international network working on the effective implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration 

We have  through over 15 years of work created a strong international network of civil society organisations fighting for access rights, a right to know, a space to participate and a right to obtain environmental justice.  Partners build their capacity to advocate on access rights through the use of the tools the network has created  and then advocate for and use access rights effectively in their work.  TAI holds bi-annual Global Gatherings to create a space to share information, skills, and resources to achieve on the ground change in countries all around the world.

Promoting Environmental Democracy around the World

The Access Initiave has worked closely with WRI to create the first index in the world that allows activists and champions for environmental democracy  to quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses in their laws and practices and take targeted action.The Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) is the first ever publicly available online platform that tracks countries progress to promote transparency, participation and access to justice in environmental decision-making.  

Social Accountability for Water and Air: Strengthening the Right to information for People and the Environment

Launched 4 years ago this project focuses on empowering communities to improve their environmental health through demands for information on air and water pollution. The STRIPE project includes a toolkit for civil society to work with communities to analyse the gaps in law and practice in the release of pollution information and the assessment of public participation forums  to have their concerns heard.   Civil society  use their right to information to demand information about the performance of private and public companies to meet national standards on pollution. Partners are empowered through capacity building to make freedom of information requests and use appeal mechancism in their countries. STRIPE focuses on using social accountability tools to transform information to action to demand restoration, clean up and accountability by companies that pollute. 

Climate Governance

TAI's  work focuses on transparency with openness – open access to relevant climate and adaptation data and information so that citizens and stakeholders can understand and take meaningful action; participatory processes – stakeholder and broader citizen engagement in climate change decision-making and in the development and implementation of NDCs to build public support for them; and accountability mechanisms – mechanisms that hold decision makers to account and the application of sanctions/incentives that promote climate action.

Open Government

TAI supports efforts to have effective natural resource commitments made through the Open Government Partnership. Partners have supported some of the most innovative commitments being made by Governments  that have allowed for transformative open government and environment outcomes. TAI Secretariate Director Carole Excell is currently co-anchor of the OGP Openness in Natural Resources Working Group, and jointly produced this report  along with partners from the Natural Resources Governance Institute.

Access to Information  

The TAI network partners have advocated both for the passage of new Freedom of information laws as well as specific legislation on access to environmental information. Partners have also assessed implementation of right to information laws in their countries. A focus on the proactive release of environmental information ( without the need for a request) is our current focus.

Public Participation

 The TAI network has produced some of the most helpful tools to enable the public  to understand how to participate in the environmental impact assessment process and in policy dialogues  to shape how natural resources are exploited. Our partners have greated guides and manuals to support the publics ability to engage in permit approvals and environmental impact assessment processes and used technology to open up the development approval process. TAI has also created databases of information on the strength and weakness of Environmental impact assessment laws around the world.  

Access to Justice

TAI network partners have focused on efforts to build new environmental courts and tribunals and provide support for legal remedies and redress for environmental harm. Our work has also focused on building the capacity of judges and public interest lawyers , as well as reduce costs and increase standing for civil society to take administrative and legal action.

Regional standards for Access rights

TAI has been campaigning and supporting the development of the creation of regional standards for Access rights. While the Aarhus Convention provides a model for access rights in Europe , our focus has been on building a framework for the development of such rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. Our largest campaign currently supports the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Principle 10 process which is currently being negotiated