This blog was originally posted on WRI Insights on June 11, 2015.
By Nicholas Tagliarino and Lalanath de Silva
WRI and the Access initiative (TAI) recently launched the Environmental Democracy Index (EDI), the first online platform that tracks and scores 70 countries’ progress in enacting national laws that promote transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in environmental decision-making. These three “environmental democracy” principles are foundational elements for sustainable development and for ensuring basic human rights.
The environment and human well-being are inextricably linked. When governments, businesses and others make decisions about land and natural resources, they inevitably impact the health, livelihoods and quality-of-life of local communities. So it stands to reason that the public should have a right to be involved in environmental decision-making—specifically, to know what is at stake, to participate in the decision itself, and to have the ability to challenge decisions that disregard human rights or harm ecosystems.
Launch of the Environmental Democracy Index: May 20