The Network for Environmental Justice in Colombia is an effort to coordinate organizations and legal resources for the protection of human rights and the environment.
The Network was founded in 2010 under the coordination of AIDA and with the help of the Latin American Institute for Alternative Society and Law, the Institute for the Study of Peace and Development, the Inter-Ecclesial Commission for Justice and Peace, and the University of Los Andes, the University of Caldas, and Del Rosario University. The network began with 79 participants and now includes more than 500 people and participating organizations.
What does the network do?
The Network’s principal objective is to propose solutions to environmental conflicts in Colombia. It also aims to promote the fair and effective use of international and domestic environmental law, in particular, the right to a clean and healthy environment.
- Facilitates the exchange of knowledge and information to implement legal strategies in precedent-setting cases. One such project was the Mandé Norte Mine, in which several members of the Network developed a legal strategy, resulting in a judicial decision that established Colombia’s need to perform an independent environmental impact assessment. Most importantly, the decision also mandated that developers obtain the consent of indigenous peoples before moving forward with any projects in their territory.
- Promotes organizational alliances, garners support, and connects legal work in defense of the environment.
- Organizes conversations, forums, and constructive debates on environmental issues.
- Provides access to legal resources including laws, court decisions, articles and legal analysis, and facilitates communication through its website and social media channels.
- Advises law students through the AIDA volunteer program. In doing so, the Network strengthens the capacity for environmental law in Colombia.