Our Readers' Opinions
December 16, 2016
ISSUE 3: ‘The right to know’

by The SVG Human Rights Association

In the two previous issues, the Association focused on the origin and terminology of Environmental Democracy.

It further expounded and highlighted Article 10 of the Rio declaration, which speaks to three fundamental rights:

i. access to information

ii. access to public participation and

iii. access to justice.

These access rights are critical in promoting transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability on environmental governance.{{more}}

The first right, which is access to information, always serves to empower citizens so that they are able to participate fully in decision and policy making processes, once they have the prescribed, requisite knowledge.

Citizens’ participation is critical in addressing local or national issues, specifically those of an environmental nature, as this leads not only to contributing solutions, inclusive of policy adoption and legislation, but also those that are sensitive to sustainability.

The final right, access to justice, facilitates the ability of the public to enforce their right to participate, to be informed and to hold regulators and polluters accountable for environmental harm.

So, what can you do to promote Environmental Democracy?

i. Speak to your relatives and friends about it

ii. Explain to them what you understand by the term “ED”

iii. Get involved in environmental issues; those that affect you; at home, school, or community,

iv. As a student, think of it as a CPEA/CSEC topic to study/research,

v. Form an ED group at school, church or community and speak to “the right to know”

vi. Become an ED activist, a Human Rights advocate on ED.