The Access Initiative

The Access Initiative is proud to announce a search for Champions of Escazú – Youth leaders


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What is the Escazú Agreement?

The Escazú Agreement, adopted on March 4, 2018, is a groundbreaking environmental treaty that recognizes environmental rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Agreement is the first legally binding regional environmental treaty from Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure the rights to access environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making, and justice in environmental matters. The Agreement seeks to ensure and strengthen capacity and cooperation between governments, contributing to the protection of the right of each person of this and future generations to live in a healthy environment within the framework of sustainable development. It includes specific obligations to prevent harm against human rights defenders in environmental matters. It includes specific provisions to ensure the rights of people and groups in vulnerable situations, which relates to the commitment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of leaving no one behind. The Agreement also offers an opportunity to reduce the number of socioenvironmental conflicts present in many countries in the region.

As of January 2020, 22 countries out of 33 in the region have signed the Agreement and five have ratified it — Guyana, Bolivia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay. The ratification process is in Congress in Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru. Eleven countries in the region must ratify the treaty in order to bring it into force and allow implementation to begin.

What is the Champions of Escazú Initiative?

The Access Initiative (TAI) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) have created the Champions of Escazú initiative to recognize leaders that can tout the importance of the Escazú Agreement as well as support its ratification. We are searching for five young people from Latin America and the Caribbean to participate as Champions. This is a great opportunity for passionate environmental youth to engage in an important movement.

This initiative seeks to include governments, civil society, activists, academics, multilateral organizations, business leaders, indigenous leaders, youth, and other advocates who will call on governments to ratify the Agreement in order to have the signatures necessary for its implementation at the First Conference of the Parties at the end of 2020. The Champions of Escazú was launched on October 10, 2019 at the Preparatory Meeting on Climate Change (Pre COP25), which was held in San José de Costa Rica. There, the first Champion was announced: David Boyd, United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment.

Criteria to be a Youth Champion:

  1. A solid reputation and an active role within key spaces of civil society and government;
  2. Access to broad networks, including media, funders, and other additional leaders;
  3. Willingness to influence public and private forums on behalf of the Escazú Agreement;
  4. Submit the application materials between January 30-February 19, 2020 to;
  5. Five young people from Latin America and the Caribbean will be selected as Champions of Escazú.


The Access Initiative (TAI) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) will work with the Champions to identify and create opportunities for participating in key international meetings. We will also request that the Champions of Escazú provide TAI with strategic ideas on how to carry out awareness, advocacy actions, identify financing opportunities, and more.

Application Requirements:

Please provide the following information to

  1. Personal Data: First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Nationality, Country of Residence, City of Residence, Copy of Identification Document, Current Occupation
  2. Experience: Attach CV, highlight experience related to citizen participation, environment, and/or human rights, attach a representative photo of these experiences and a professional headshot photo
  3. Motivation: Describe your personal motivation for applying. Describe what you would do in the first two months as a Champion of Escazú. Provide one quote that answers why you think the Escazu Agreement is important. Describe what you think will be the biggest challenge of this position. (max. 200 words)
  4. Video: Attach a motivational video explaining why you should be one of the young people selected as a Champion of Escazú. You can upload your video to YouTube or Google Drive and send us the link (max. 2 minutes).