The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment

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UBC Press, Nov 29, 2011 - Law - 468 pages
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The right to a healthy environment is the subject of extensive philosophical debates that revolve around a key question: Should rights to clean air, water, and soil be entrenched in law?

This pioneering book answers this by moving beyond theoretical debate to measure the practical effects of enshrining the right in constitutions. David Boyd analyzes 193 constitutions and the laws and court decisions of more than 100 nations in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. He reveals that nations with constitutional protections have stronger environmental laws, enhanced enforcement, greater government accountability, and better access to justice, information, and public participation in decision making than nations without such provisions. As a result, they demonstrate superior environmental performance and have smaller ecological footprints.

Boyd not only demonstrates that constitutionalizing environmental protection has the power to make sustainability a priority, he tells inspiring stories about the difference the right to a healthy environment is making in people's lives.

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The Constitutional Right to a Healthy Environment in Practice
Evaluating the Impacts of Environmental Provisions in Constitutions

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About the author (2011)

Dr. David R. Boyd is one of Canada's leading experts in environmental law and policy and an adjunct professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He has advised the governments of Canada, Sweden, and Iceland on environmental and constitutional issues and is the co-chair of Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team along with Mayor Gregor Robertson. He is a member of the IUCN's Commission on Environmental Law, the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment, the Forum for Leadership on Water, and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW).

David Boyd is the author of several bestselling and award-winning books as well as more than a hundred publications related to environmental law and policy, including Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy. His current research focuses on the effects of enshrining environmental rights and responsibilities in national constitutions.

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