Each TAI country chapter is independent and consists of individual experts and civil society organizations. TAI country chapters promote environmental democracy at the national level and undertake evidence-based research, advocacy and engagement. Members come together every two years at a Global Gathering, where they share experiences, strategize collaboratively and identify network priorities.
The World Resources Institute (WRI) serves as the global secretariat for the TAI network. An elected TAI Core Team works with WRI to guide the network and coordinate activities.
TAI Core Team
The TAI Core Team or Board is made up of seven civil society organizations.
Friends of the Irish Environment (Ireland, represented by Andrew Jackson) is the Core team lead for Europe and has served to support the development of tools to assess the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Europe.
Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (India) - Ritwick Dutta is the Core team Lead for Asia, a prestigious environmental lawyer, he has serve to support developments on access rights in the region on transboundary waters, advocacy for public participation and access to justice through-out the region.
South East Asia
Thailand Environment Institute (Thailand)- Chuthatip Maneepong is the new lead for TEI in conducting assessment of access rights in the region and the development of advocacy for the empowerment of civil society to use access rights
Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme Cameroon (BDCPC) has a strong focus on access rights related to forests and climate change and has supported the expansion of TAI in Africa.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad (Colombia, represented by Natalia Gomez) works on access rights empowerment and use by Youth as well as public interest litigation, focuses include forests, climate and mining.
Cultura Ecologica (Mexico) - Tomas Severino and Olimpia Castillo Blanco with a strong focus on use of access to information frameworks, urban governance, natural resource and biodiversity protection as well as gender and their relationship to access rights.
Core Team members represent the TAI members from their region. The Core Team has three main areas of responsibility: contributing to TAI policy-making; providing support to TAI activities at the regional and national levels; and helping the TAI network to function as a whole. In practice, the roles played by Core Team members vary across regions. The World Resources Institute’s (WRI) role established the Access Initiative in 1999 and acts as its Secretariat. The Secretariat provides crucial capacity for many areas of activity in TAI, including fundraising, network strategy, global outreach, and the review of TAI assessments and Environmental Democracy Index indicators.
Carole Excell, Project Director
The Access Initiative Carole Excell works at the World Resources Institute as the Project Director of the Access Initiative. She focuses her work on access to information, public participation and access to justice issues around the world.
Lalanath DeSilva, Director, Environmental Democracy Practice
Lalanath DeSilva is the Director of the Environmental Democracy Practice, a project of WRI’s Governance Center of Excellence. Lalanath was the Director of TAI until 2014, and now works to connect TAI to other aspects of WRI’s work on international policy, across sectors and to promote open government.
Jesse Worker, Associate
The Access Initiative Jesse Worker is an Associate at the World Resources Institute. His work currently includes helping to improve institutions governing climate change adaptation efforts. Jesse also manages the Environmental Democracy Index, which assesses how well countries around the world protect the rights to information, participation and justice for environmental matters.
Elizabeth Moses, Research Analyst
The Access Initiative Elizabeth is a Research Analyst at WRI, where she conducts research and analysis on a variety of policy matters related to access to information, public participation and access to justice. Her work currently includes empowering communities in Indonesia and Mongolia to improve their environmental health through the use of their rights to access information.
Ben Legow, Project Coordinator, The Access Initiative
Ben Legow is the Project Coordinator for the Access Initiative. He manages TAI’s grants, finances and outreach. He supports TAI projects in Jamaica, Mongolia and Indonesia, as well as WRI’s Environmental Democracy Index and the Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund.