This blog post was originally posted on WRI Insights on March 5, 2015.
By Celine Salcedo-La Viña
As the United States and other western countries shift from aid-based engagement in Africa to more trade and investment, it’s important to ensure that investments are environmentally and socially responsible. Investments in agriculture, infrastructure and energy can adversely affect people and the planet if the needs of local communities are ignored. Rural Africans frequently suffer displacement and lose access to vital natural resources as governments acquire their lands and allocate them to local and foreign investors—even in countries where laws recognize community land rights.
At the foot of the dark green mountains that surround Bogotá, Colombia, over 90 energetic access rights and forestry advocates spent three days learning from each other during the 2014 TAI Global Gathering. The Gathering created a space where new ideas mingled freely with established approaches, and veteran TAI members, new members and forest governance experts could build meaningful relationships. Held from October 29-31, 2014, the 2014 Global Gathering was the largest in TAI’s 13 year history and included participants from 42 countries.
It can be very hard sometimes to set down hopes, dreams and resolutions in writing. This year, the Access Initiative decided it was time to illustrate the network’s hopes and wishes for 2015.
The Access Initiative is a network of civil society organizations working all over the world to ensure that decisions being made about the environment are open, participatory and fair. We collaborated with one of our amazing members, Margaretha Quina from the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, to come up with images that represent 8 priorities for 2015.
A new report reveals that Jamaica’s progress on public participation and access to information is inadequate despite having enacted laws and establishing governance structures to enable this. The published report is the outcome of a partnership between The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), Windsor Research Centre, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (CCAM) and the North Cockpit Country Local Forest Management Foundation to assess the state of access rights in Jamaica.