Pro Public, the leader of the TAI Nepal Coalition, is looking for ways to influence the Constituent Assembly, the government body mandated to write the new constitution for the Republic of Nepal, in order to enshrine access into the highest law of the country. The Thailand Environment Institute (TEI), which carried out a similar, successful campaign in Thailand has this advice for Nepal (below the fold):
The benefit of Right to Information and citizens’ participation in environmental issues is not just limited to NGO’s and citizens. It can also be of great help to government officers, especially to those trying to implement the law and Judgments of Court but who face resistance from other departments.
In October 2006, the environmental movement welcomed the adoption of the regulation on public participation and consultation in decision making. This fact generated great expectation by the implications in environmental management.
However, in May 2008, President Correa issued a new regulation that governs the mechanisms for social participation in environmental management.
I am currently working on a paper looking at access rights and people living in poverty. I have, however, only located one “affirmative” law or code, US Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which requires special efforts including improving public participation, environmental law enforcement, and data collection for low-income and minority communities. (Ron Bass has this useful - if a bit old - summary of the law and related codes.) I have not, however, found equivalent laws which require governments to meet the needs of poor or minority communities in countries other than the U.S.