resource portal for environmental human rights defenders


"Adopted on 4 March 2018 in Escazú, Costa Rica, the Regional Agreement aims to guarantee the full and effective implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in the environmental decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters; as well as building and strengthening capacities and fostering cooperation, thereby contributing to the protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in a healthy environment and to sustainable development".

-CEPAL, 2018-


Opened for signature on 27 September, 2018. 




LAC states

Alicia Barcena

In seeking to guarantee the right of present and future generations to a healthy environment and to sustainable development, the Escazú Agreement aims to strengthen capacities and bolster cooperation among the countries of the region. It also expresses our shared priorities and aspirations and demonstrates the continued relevance of regional multilateralism to sustainable development.

Michael Forst

This agreement is a major leap forward in the protection and safeguarding of human rights defenders in environmental matters. By establishing specific binding provisions, Latin American and Caribbean States are not only recognising the acute and alarming situation faced by environmental defenders in countries of the region, but are also taking concrete steps to reaffirm their role and respect, protect and fulfil all their rights

David R. Boyd

Drew particular attention to Article 1 of the treaty, which recognises everyone’s right to live in a healthy environment.

4 important things you need to know about the agreement


It had the significant participation of the public and the support of  the ECLAC, as technical secretariat


RIO + 20


It is the only treaty that has emerged from Rio + 20 and the first on environmental issues in Latin America and the Caribbean



The right to a healthy environment for present and future generations


It is the only binding international instrument with specific provisions for the promotion and protection of human rights in environmental matters

New accord gives hope in Latin America’s fight to protect the environment

The region has been plagued with urgent problems: impunity for crimes against frontline land and environmental defenders has been widespread, with activists slaughtered in record numbers; governments have failed to uphold laws respecting communities’ right to be consulted on the impacts of extractive and infrastructure projects; and information disclosure on the part of many national and international companies has been grossly inadequate.

So what will the Escazú Agreement change?



Principle 10 seeks to ensure that every person has access to information, can participate in the decision-making process and has access to justice in environmental matters with the aim of safeguarding the right to a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations.


Civil society network is working to promote the LAC declaration in principle 10 and has called for  a legally binding instrument

Observatory on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Observatory analyses legislation, policies, jurisprudence and treaties that guarantee the full enjoyment by all persons of the rights to access to information, public participation and justice in environmental matters, as enshrined in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration.