The Access Initiative

Application des droits environnementaux en Afrique: Des principes à la pratique

WRI et The Access Initiative Africa ont lancé le projet sur les droits environnementaux en Afrique pour étudier la faisabilité et les options de voie pour améliorer la reconnaissance et la mise en œuvre effective des droits environnementaux en Afrique et soutenir l’élaboration d’une feuille de route pour l’action. Ce rapport présente notre évaluation initiale et nos recommandations basées sur un niveau élevé de cartographie des accords, des lois et des décisions de justice sur les droits environnementaux à travers l’Afrique et des études de cas détaillées en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), au Ghana, au Kenya et en Afrique du Sud.

The Road to Realizing Environmental Rights In Africa: Moving From Principles to Practice

WRI and The Access Initiative Africa has begun the Environmental Rights in Africa Project to investigate the feasibility and pathway options for improving the recognition and effective implementation of environmental rights in Africa and support development of a roadmap for action. This report presents our initial evaluation and recommendations based on a high level of mapping of environmental rights agreements, laws, and court decisions across Africa and detailed case studies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.


The Escazú Convention: an Agreement with a Women´s Spirit to Defend Land, Rivers and our Resources

The Escazú Convention: an Agreement with a Women’s Spirit to Defend Land, Rivers and our Resources

On March 3, 2018, two years after the murder of Berta Caceres in Honduras, States of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, gather in Escazú, Costa Rica, for the 9th Meeting of the Negotiation Committee for Principle 10, where 24 States of the Region reached a consensus to approve an Agreement on Principle 10; Access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters, after the consensus was reached, a tribute was organized by the representatives of the public in order to remember the struggle of Berta Cáceres  that cost her life, hoping that this agreement will carry on with her legacy.

The Escazú Convention on Principle 10 is the First Multilateral Environmental Agreement for the LAC region, where two dozens of States of the region participated. Its importance lies in its binding nature and in the fact that it does not admit reservations to it, which gives it a practically obligatory character. The Agreement has the aimed to guarantee access rights for all the population without discrimination, access to environmental information, access to public participation in decision-making and access to justice and remediation within the framework of environmental matters.

Principle 10 was adopted 1992 as a part of the Rio Declaration, states that:

“Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided. 

Furthermore, it includes two issues that are crucial in the regional context: vulnerable groups and environmental defenders, both terms included in the Agreement, are very relevant to a region where there is a huge threat of death for environmental defenders with alarming figures; according to the NGO Global Witness in 2016 the lives of at least 120 environmental defenders were taken, where the countries with the most murders are Brazil and Colombia, between a varied range of struggles from local to regional.

We hope that this Agreement will help to drastically reduce the killings of environmental defenders in the region through the commitments assumed by States to recognize the work of defenders and assume their protection while guaranteeing their human rights. The agreement is intended to be a key tool for environmental activists so that they can access environmental information to assess the situation and how the population is being affected by the negative impacts of certain activities, especially megaprojects many times linked with extractive industries, carrying the spirit of those who have gave their lives to protect land, water and other resources, like Berta.

The agreement also recognizes people or groups in vulnerable situations who have also to be taken into account when talking about long-term environmental sustainability, for which it is necessary to identify these groups at the local level, because there is no homogeneity among the most vulnerable populations it is very important that these are identified by the communities themselves in order to share the impacts on their lives that sometime may result on whole communities disappearing especially migrating to nearby cities generating more poverty and alienating their cultural heritage.

In the same way, the treaty guarantees the participation of the public, civil society and all the actors involved in the different processes related to the environmental issue, as well as ensuring the participation of these groups in the decision-making process. But perhaps the most relevant is the commitment to provide environmental justice to the population of the region, especially those populations that have suffered damages due to a series of unregulated activities that have drastically damaged.

Another great achievement of this Convention is that it includes the creation of the COPs (Conference of the Parties) where a large part of the implementation will be monitored and in the same way the spaces of the COP will serve to develop new and innovative ways to enforce the agreement, therefore the tools that ensure the implementation of this agreement will be defined during COPS, like other COPs of environmental issues; it will also develop new tools that allow compliance with it and may create subsidiary bodies in order to contemplate specific situations.

The issues related to environment and natural resources are key for the LAC region, finding points of convergence among the 24 countries that participated in the negotiations was very difficult due to different contexts, however there is a clear vision to move forward to guarantee access rights for the population. The main difficulty lies in the political will of the Parties (States) of the Agreement to elaborate or adapt regulatory frameworks that allow the full implementation of the Agreement, responding to national contexts and regional conjunctures.

Finally the Escazú Convention was adopted on March 4, 2018 under the under the wing of ECLAC, whom have shown a strong commitment to Principle 10 long before the negotiations began, as the Technical Secretariat has been concerned to coordinate and provide the States with the necessary information to reach the approval of this Agreement. The great challenge now is for the Parties (States) to sign and ratify the Agreement so that it enters into force and we believe that ECLAC will be the key to concretize the commitments of the Parties.


Declaration in honor of environmental defenders

Commemorating the two years of the death of Berta Cáceres

Ninth Meeting of the Negotiating Committee – Principle 10

Escazú, Costa Rica, March 3, 2018


Thank you very much Mr. Chair, honorable delegates, representatives of the public and dear colleagues.

Today, two years ago, less than a thousand km from where we stand, in Esperanza, Honduras, a life was taken, a life of struggle and dreams, a life whose only crime was to fight for indigenous rights and nature, a life that to date has not seen justice, a life that became thousands of lives, Berta Cáceres lives and she became millions.

In these cold rooms, we forget that our continent is a continent of water and coasts, of mountains and forests, a continent that every day fights for democracy, a continent where inequality manifests itself in scenic images of poverty mixed with exuberant landscapes of natural wealth, a continent rich in resources but poor in quality of life, a continent that quickly depletes its resources in the name of development.

This panorama invites us to continue the struggle of hundreds of environmental defenders who have given their lives for the rights and defense of nature in the region, committed to the species and spirits that inhabit each ecosystem, fighting corruption and ignorance, trying to guarantee a decent future for the population, especially for those forgotten communities that maintain a collective memory of pre-colonial times and that are threatened by a ferocious extractivism that does not allow regeneration or recovery, putting at risk the sustainability at a long term of a lot that we know today and we take for granted such as the white glaciers of the Andes, the green Amazonian jungles, the beautiful jaguars or the veins that unite us in the form of rivers, like river Beni o el river Gualcarque along our territories.

Today, World Wildlife Day, as we celebrate the life of Berta, we are here recognizing our historic responsibility to achieve an Agreement that guarantees us access rights to information, participation and environmental justice for all the inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean without discrimination. Today we celebrate that this Agreement becomes a tool through the recognition of environmental defenders so that tomorrow many of us, committed activists, will not be criminalized or discredited and our rights guaranteed.

We highlight the efforts that the delegations have put into this Agreement especially to recognize people or groups in vulnerable situation and ensure that women, young people, indigenous peoples, especially those fighting against extractivism, against mega dams, against illegal trafficking of species and genetic resources among other struggles, so they can access the mechanisms that guarantee an effective participation in the decision-making about their territories and their natural resources that ultimately leads them to develop communities of life in a dignified way, if that is achieved, future generations and not only of humans, will thank you, otherwise we will perpetuate the destruction and the enslavement that are leading us to poverty and extinction.

Now I invite you to offer a minute of silence for Berta and all the activists in Latin America and the Caribbean whose lives were taken.

Viva Berta!

Thank you very much!

(delivered by Carmen Capriles)

Download the Agreement on the Escazú Convention on Principle 10


Other interesting articles:

We have a binding Principle 10!

Escazú Convention 2018: A Landmark for the LAC Region

Latin America seeks to protect environmental activists

Latin America: Principle 10 breakthrough for environmental democracy

Two dozen Latin American countries sign agreement to protect environmental defenders

Latin America and the Caribbean Adopts Its First Binding Regional Agreement to Protect Rights of Access in Environmental Matters


Los derechos de acceso presentes en la Cumbre de CELAC

By Daniel Barragan (Posted: February 19, 2013)

Los días 27 y 28 de Enero del 2013 se realizó en Santiago de Chile la I Cumbre de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

La Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y del Caribe agrupa a todos los países de América Latina y el Caribe. Fue creada el 23 de febrero de 2010 en sesión de la Cumbre de la unidad de América Latina y el Caribe, en la ciudad de Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México.

Es un organismo intergubernamental de ámbito regional, heredero del Grupo de Río y la CALC, la Cumbre de América Latina y del Caribe que promueve la integración y desarrollo de los países latinoamericanos.

Los Gobiernos se reunieron en esta oportunidad con el propósito de avanzar en la unidad e integración política, económica, social y cultural de nuestra región.

La Declaración acordada por los Gobiernos destaca la importancia de un diálogo permanente fundado en el principio de la complementariedad y orientado a alcanzar los mejores resultados para lograr el desarrollo solidario e inclusivo de los Estados latinoamericanos y caribeños.

En el párrafo 60 de la Declaración los Gobiernos establecen “Valoramos las iniciativas para la implementación regional del Principio 10 de la Declaración de Río 1992, referido a los derechos de acceso a información, participación y justicia ambiental, como una contribución relevante para la participación de la comunidad organizada comprometida con el Desarrollo Sostenible”.

Es importante destacar el liderazgo que tuvo el Gobierno de Chile para lograr la inclusión de esta mención y valoración del proceso que se ha iniciado en América Latina y el Caribe donde 11 países de la Región en la Conferencia de Desarrollo Sostenible Río+20 celebrada en Río de Janeiro, Brasil en Junio del 2012, 11 países de América Latina y El Caribe (ALC) con el firme apoyo de la sociedad civil y de organismos internacionales como la CEPAL iniciaron un proceso político para la creación de un instrumento para la región que promueva la cabal implementación de los derechos de acceso a la información, la participación y la justicia en la toma de decisiones ambientales. Estos derechos de acceso están contemplados en el Principio 10 de la Declaración de Río de la Cumbre de la Tierra de 1992.

Específicamente los Gobiernos de Brasil, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Jamaica, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, República Dominicana y Uruguay firmaron la Declaración sobre Aplicación del Principio 10 de la Declaración de Río sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo dando inicio a un proceso para crear un instrumento regional que promueva la transparencia, inclusividad y rendición de cuentas en la toma de decisiones ambientales.

Para mayor información de la CELAC:

COMUNICADO: Latinoamérica y el Caribe iniciaran en el 2015 la negociación de un convenio regional sobre los derechos de acceso

By Daniel Barragan (Posted: November 19, 2014)

El inicio de esta negociación es una buena noticia para la región ya que significa que en el mediano plazo los países de América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) contarán con un instrumento para garantizar un ejercicio efectivo de los derechos de acceso y para una mejor canalización y resolución de los crecientes conflictos socio-ambientales, con el consiguiente mejoramiento de la gobernabilidad democrática.

Con el compromiso asumido el pasado 6 de noviembre en Santiago de Chile por parte de los Gobiernos de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, y que da vida a un comité de negociación de un instrumento jurídico internacional, la ciudadanía de la región está cada vez más cerca de contar con una herramienta de carácter internacional que garantice la aplicación efectiva de los derechos de acceso a la información, participación y justicia en asuntos ambientales. Los llamados derechos de acceso, esenciales para la protección de nuestros recursos naturales, la garantía de los derechos de las comunidades y el desarrollo sostenible de nuestros países.

Representantes de 19 países de América Latina y el Caribe firmantes de la Declaración del Principio 10 -que promueve los derechos de acceso a la información, participación y justicia en asuntos ambientales-, junto con representantes de los países observadores y actores de la sociedad civil, se congregaron en la Cuarta Reunión de los Puntos Focales designados por los gobiernos de los países signatarios de la Declaración sobre la aplicación del Principio 10 de la Declaración de Río sobre el Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo en América Latina y el Caribe realizada del 4 al 6 de noviembre en la sede de la CEPAL en Santiago, Chile. Como resultado de esta reunión se aprobó la Decisión de Santiago, en la cual se incluyeron puntos fundamentales para la continuación de la negociación regional, entre ellos la adopción de los contenidos de San José (provenientes de la anterior reunión de grupos de Trabajo en Costa Rica), como índice de temas para la negociación del instrumento, la creación de un comité de negociación en el que se reafirma la importancia de la participación del público, y la inclusión de nuevos países en la Mesa Directiva encargada de dirigir el proceso.

Segundo Encontro Virtual discutirá Acordo Regional sobre Democracia Ambiental e ações no Brasil sobre o tema

By Renato Morgado (Posted: May 21, 2014)

Organizações e cidadãos brasileiros estão convidados para participar do Segundo Encontro Virtual – Democracia Ambiental e Acordo Regional sobre o Tema, que será realizado no dia 28 de maio (quarta-feira), das 10h00 às 11h30.

No encontro serão discutidos o processo de construção de um acordo entre os governos da América Latina e do Caribe para a implementação do Principio 10(sobre o acesso à participação, à informação e à justiça nas questões ambientais) e das ações para que as organizações e cidadãos brasileiros participem mais ativamente desse processo.

O evento iniciará com a apresentação de um breve resumo sobre a construção do acordo e sobre os resuldados do primeiro encontro, realizado no dia 07 de maio (para saber mais acesse o link

Na sequencia serão debatidos os últimos avanços do processo formal coordenado pela CEPAL (em especial os resultados da última reunião do grupo de trabalho sobre o conteúdo do acordo e o documento elaborado sobre o tema link) e as propostas elaboradas pela The Access Inititave (TAI).

Por fim, serão debatidas as ações e os próximos passos das organizações e cidadãos brasileiros em relação ao tema, incluindo a proposta da realização de um encontro presencial.

Como Participar do Encontro Virtual?

Basta seguir os passos abaixo:

1-Acesse o link e digite os seu dados (nome, e-mail, cidade e instituição, se houver)

2-Após confirmar e enviar os seus dados, você terá acesso a um novo link (este link também será enviado ao e-mail que você registrou)

3-No dia 28 (quarta-feira), às 9h45, acesse o novo link que recebeu

4-Realize o download e instale o programa (dura poucos segundos)

5-Após a instação, o programa “Go to Webinar” abrirá no canto superior direito de sua tela e você estará conectado à plataforma do Encontro

O encontro é aberto? Posso ajudar a divulgá-lo? O encontro é aberto a todas as organizações e cidadãos interessados. O apoio na divulgação é muito bem-vindo e pode ser realizado, dentre outras formas, pelo compartilhamento do link desse noticia ou de seu texto.

Para Saber Mais e Participar Entidades e cidadãos interessados em mais informações ou em participar das próximas ações, podem entrar em contato pelos e-mails e .

É possível também realizar o cadastro no site da Cepal e participar dos debates e apresentar propostas junto ao processo oficial de discussão do acordo regional. Além disso, o site contém noticias e todos os documentos oficiais do processo. Seguem os links:



Gobernanza ambiental: una evaluación del Principio 10 en el Ecuador

Published: 2013

En el plano ambiental, la información y el derecho de acceso a la misma adquieren relevancia no sólo porque esta permite a la población tomar decisiones cotidianas, contribuir a la protección del medio ambiente y fomentar la mejora de las actuaciones ambientales de la industria.

También porque las decisiones del gobierno y de actores privados necesitan fundamentarse en el conocimiento actualizado del estado de los elementos del ambiente y sus implicaciones en los ecosistemas, en la salud humana y en las condiciones de vida de la población.

A raíz de la aprobación de la Constitución del 2008 se estableció un nuevo marco que refuerza y garantiza el cumplimiento de los derechos de acceso a la información, participación ciudadana y justicia ambiental. En este contexto, el CEDA consideró importante realizar un nuevo esfuerzo de investigación que permita obtener evidencia actual sobre el estado de implementación y ejercicio de los derechos de acceso.

Esta investigación busca generar evidencia concreta que permita desarrollar recomendaciones posteriores, acciones y propuestas puntuales que aporten a la retroalimentación de la política nacional y ambiental vigente y en los esfuerzos de creación de capacidades impulsados por el gobierno.