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Recent developments in public interest litigation

 Inter-American court condemns Argentina over indigenous rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has condemned the Argentine state for violating the right of indigenous communities to their cultural identity, a healthy environment and adequate food and water, that tribunal reported on Thursday. The court, based in the Costa Rican capital of San José, ordered specific action for the restitution of those rights, […]

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East African Court Bars South Sudan, Two Firms From Exporting Oil

The government of South Sudan and two mining companies have been barred from operating and exporting oil due to spills that have polluted the environment. South Sudan’s Minister for Justice, the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) and Dar Petroleum Operating Company Ltd have been served with a temporary injunction order by the East African Court […]

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Australia’s ‘failing’ environmental laws will fuel further public health crises, Nobel laureate warns

Bushfires and Covid-19 highlight connection between human health and natural world, states letter by almost 200 doctors and scientists Leading health professionals, including a Nobel laureate and a former Australian of the Year, say the government must put human health “front and centre” in a new generation of environment laws in the aftermath of the […]

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The Healers of Chhattisgarh 

Indigenous healers in Central India are struggling in the face of legal and environmental challenges. When the Forest Rights Act was passed in India in 2006, it was identified as an ‘act to recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been […]

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Climate Change: More than 3bn could live in extreme heat by 2070

Unless greenhouse gas emissions fall, large numbers of people will experience average temperatures hotter than 29C. This is considered outside the climate “niche” in which humans have thrived for the past 6,000 years. Co-author of the study Tim Lenton told the BBC: “The study hopefully puts climate change in more human terms”. Researchers used data […]

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Indonesia pushes Environmental Deregulation after deadly flood and deforestation.

The administration of President Joko Widodo in Indonesia is currently pushing a slate of environmental deregulation policies through proposing over 1,200 amendments to 80 existing laws in parliament. While the government claims that these policies will boost the country’s economic growth, experts are warning that they will threaten to dismantle the already small number of existing […]

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Chile to peak emissions by 2025, under strengthened climate pledge

In the midst of a global pandemic, government ministers stressed the need to build a sustainable, resilient economy for the long term. Chile has committed to peaking its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, in an updated national plan presented virtually to the UN climate chief on Thursday. The plan, by the country currently presiding over […]

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Mega-mining threatens Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul

Summary:  Jair Bolsonaro’s victory in the 2018 Brazilian presidential election represented a new ultraconservative right-wing rise to power that radically dismantled environmental policies. Brazil’s Minister of Environment has been previously convicted for illegally favouring mining companies. In the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul alone, there are more than 150 mining projects that may leverage the […]

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EU COVID-19 recovery plan must be green and ambitious, say MEPs.

In a debate with Frans Timmermans, the Environment Committee says the EU must remain firm on climate change and the timetable foreseen for the Green Deal. The EU Climate Law will move ahead as planned, whilst the Commission’s proposals on biodiversity and farm-to-fork will be delayed by a few weeks. Last week, in its resolution on EU coordinated action to combat the […]

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Supreme Court hands environmentalists a win in water pollution case.

The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with environmentalists by giving a broad reading to the types of water-borne pollution covered by the Clean Water Act. In a 6-3 decision, the justices held that a permit is required for either a direct discharge of pollutants into federally regulated rivers and oceans or its “functional equivalent.” “Suppose, for […]

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