Brief headline in today’s news: Hungary’s environmental ombudsman quits. Sandor Fulop was one of the founders of EMLA (www.emla.hu) and of The Access Initiative. In 2008, he became Hungary’s first ever environmental ombudsman. The institution was a great success in the last 4 years and gave a new hope that interests of present and future generations can be harmonized with the help of an independent representative of the environment.
If you weren’t able to make it to The Access Initiative’s June 19th event in Rio de Janeiro with Fundação Getulio Vargas Rio Program on Law and Environment, the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), you can now catch up on all the results. The Access Initiative (TAI), together with its partners, has released the ‘Choosing Our Future’ event report with a full summary of the day and its many components.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) boasts some pretty lofty and much-needed goals. The global initiative aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
In one the strangest stories hidden behind US elections and Russian dissent in the international media, the Tanzanian government has allowed an international uranium conglomerate to begin exploration in what used to be part of the 54,600 sq km Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. This piece of East African habitat is not only home to the world’s largest elephant population, but is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Since the project was approved in 2005 by the Brazilian Congress, indigenous and conservation activists have unflinchingly opposed the Belo Monte dam project. Resistance has unfolded on a global stage with the engagement and watchful eye of the international community, and Belo Monte has come to represent the growing friction between industrial and indigenous forces at play in Brazil and around the world.
Well-known Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Honcharenko died on Friday, August 3rd from injuries sustained during a brutal attack two days prior. Honcharenko was en route to his dacha when he was blocked on the road by a group of men, pulled from his car, and viciously beaten. The attack came four days after a press conference in which Honcharenko made public information on 180 tons of toxic metal waste being held in the Kryvyi Rih district. Honcharenko called the waste a “chemical time bomb” and warned that the toxic material could end up in exported scrap metal.
Activist and lawyer Syeda Rizwana Hasan of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) has been named as one of six recipients of the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award. The award, generally considered the Nobel Prize of Asia, is the region’s highest honor.
Q: What is Corporación Participa?
Participa is a Chilean NGO focused on democracy and human rights. It was founded 25 years ago as democracy was recovered in Chile. Participa works on issues around human rights, public participation, and access to information advocacy in Chile, and has been involved with The Access Initiative (TAI) since its inception.
Q: What is Participa’s involvement in initiating a regional convention on Principle 10?
Open Data portals, as a means of providing citizens access to government data, are becoming increasingly popular platforms being adopted by governments internationally. On June 19, 2012, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Access Initiative (TAI) hosted the “Choosing our Future: Open and Participatory Sustainable Development Governance” event in Rio de Janeiro, alongside the Rio+20 negotiations.
More than a year ago, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon likened Rio+20 to a “free-market revolution for global sustainability,” calling for the event to inspire innovations that move the world toward more sustainable pathways to economic growth and development. Later in the year, U.N. Commission for Sustainable Development Chair, Sha Zukang, explained that the main difference of Rio+20 from earlier conferences “will be the sharp focus on renewing political commitments and on implementation…” Said Sha, “My message is: come to Rio ready to commit.”