El Salvador

1.80

Environmental Democracy Index Score

El Salvador scored very well on the Transparency pillar, and received fair scores on the Justice and Participation pillars. The Law on Access to Public Information provides any person the right to access environmental information on request. The Ministry of the Environment must proactively disseminate information relevant to the environment and public health. Regarding the Participation pillar, public input must be included in the preparation of environmental rules, policies, plans, and programs, but participation does not need to be provided at an early stage and the government is not obliged to account for public comments. As for the Justice pillar, the public is granted a right to access review procedures to challenge government decisions on information requests and other matters relating to the environment. However, the law fails to establish legal mechanisms to address financial barriers to accessing review procedures. El Salvador’s scores suggest a commitment to transparency; the country could further support environmental democracy by undertaking improvements in the areas outlined .

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Since the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador in 1992, environmental issues have occupied an important position within national-level political debate.The TAI coalition has focused on access rights related to natural resource use, since the exploitation of natural resources has increased in the last two decades.The TAI El Salvador coalition is led by the Unidad Ecológica Salvadoreña (UNES), a non-governmental organization that advocates for the protection and conservation of the natural environment in El Salvador and the region. UNES is a federation of environmentally-minded organizations and individuals which promotes sustainability and environmental defense. UNES’s mission is to defend nature and improve the quality of life of the El Salvadoran people by fostering the participation of the general public in government activities at the regional, national, and international lEl Salvador carried out its first TAI assessment in 2005. In 2010, UNES worked with the World Resources Institute to evaluate the state of access to information in the country, with an emphasis on water, mega-infrastructure projects and natural disasters. The TAI coalition in El Salvador has also been involved in the Principle 10 process for Latin America and the Caribbean by participating in the negotiations process and working in collaboration with other TAI partners at the regional level.