Environmental Democracy Index Score
Kenya scored well on the Justice pillar, and received fair scores on the Transparency and Participation pillars. Regarding the Transparency pillar, the public is granted a right to access environmental information on request, but only a limited amount of environmental quality and health information must be made proactively available to the public. For the Participation pillar, the right to participate in environmental decision making is mainly limited to environmental impact assessments (EIAs). In most cases, the government is not obliged to account for public comments when making decisions. For the Justice pillar, there are appeal procedures that apply when the government denies requests for environmental information. There are also legal remedies, such as compensation and restitution, that can be granted to aggrieved persons. However, there are no legal mechanisms to lower barriers to justice for women and marginalized groups. Kenya could expand its legal protections for environmental democracy by addressing these areas.
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The Kenyan chapter is currently focused on working on access issues surrounding environment and social justice , climate change, land rights and natural resources,and passage of framework laws on access to information and public participation. The passage of a new Constitution in Kenya constitution in 2010 has inaugurated a wave of reform of laws in the country.
The national lead organization of the Kenyan TAI chapter is the Institution for law, Environment and Governance (ILEG). ILEG is an independent, non-profit public interest law and policy organization focused on promoting sustainable development. ILEG works with local communities, governments, the private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs) to ensure fair, balanced and equitable development policy choices to improve people’s lives and protect the environment. As a member of the core-team, ILEG contributes to TAI policy making; provides support to TAI activities at the regional and national levels; and provides support to the functioning of the global TAI network.
Achievements ILEG continues to participate in TAI led activities and sends representatives to regional TAI meetings where participants come from various countries. Some of the ILEG’s achievements include its work on the campaign for a freedom of information law, training of lawyers and judicial officers in environmental law and policy, creation of awareness among citizens through TV drama, publication and distribution of literature on public interest environmental litigation amongst a host of other activities.