Despite its small size, Ecuador is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries. Political instability, though, led to weak environmental laws and few opportunities for citizens to participate in decisions about the management of the country’s rich natural resources. A law enacted in 2007 required the government to consult citizens on environmental matters. Its passage was the result of a long process undertaken by The Access Initiative Secretariat and Ecolex, a non-profit organization in Ecuador focused on sustainable development. Together, we identified weaknesses in Ecuador’s laws regulating public access to environmental information, participation and justice. This assessment was followed by multi-stakeholder workshops which led to the creation of draft legislation approved by the Ministry of Environment and signed into law by the president.
(Picture from RainForest Action Network)