On March 4, 2018, the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, better known as the Escazú Agreement, was signed in the municipality of Escazú, San Jose Costa Rica.
It is the first regional agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean that places the relationship between human rights and the environment at the center, mainly through three procedural rights:
Access to environmental information
Access to citizen participation in environmental matters
Access to Environmental Justice
Its antecedent is Principle 10 of the Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992 and at the same time it has another international reference which is the Aarhus Convention adopted by the European Union.
In addition, and as a unique precedent in international agreements, it recognizes the role and situation of vulnerability of defenders of land and territory considering their protection by guaranteeing a safe and favorable environment for people, groups and organizations that promote and defend human rights in environmental matters. This point is crucial when we talk about Latin America being the most dangerous region for the defense of the environment.
The Agreement was signed by 24 countries in the region, however to date only 12 of them have ratified it: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, San Vicente y Granadinas, Saint Kitts y Nevis, Santa Lucía y Uruguay.
Thanks to the fact that the minimum number of ratifications was reached, the agreement entered into force on April 22, 2021, coinciding with the “International Day of Mother Earth”.
Escazú is a fundamental binding international agreement for the protection and defense of the environment, and for the right of access to a healthy environment, and which is a necessary tool for all those environmental activists and defenders.
In the following links you can learn more about the Agreement:
To learn more about the work carried out by the Social-Ecological Transformation project of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, you can consult our website: website: https://fes-transformacion.fes.de/
For more information visit the page Escazú Regional project