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Thuringia

Thuringia

Constitution of the Free State of Thuringia (1993)

December 72017

Part I, Section IV, Article 31:

“(1) The protection of the natural foundations of human life is the task of the Free State and its inhabitants.

(2) The natural balance and its functionality must be protected. The native animal and plant species as well as particularly valuable landscapes and areas are to be preserved and put under protection. The country and its local authorities aim to eliminate or compensate for human-caused environmental damage as far as possible.

(3) Use natural resources and energy sparingly. The state and its local authorities promote an environmentally sound energy supply.

Part I, Section IV, Article 33:

“Everyone has the right to information about the data concerning the natural environment in their habitat and that have been collected by the Free State, as far as legal regulations or rights of third parties are not opposed.

 

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Saxony-Anhalt

Saxony-Anhalt

Constitution of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt (1992)

December 72017

Part II, Section I, Article 6:

“(2) Everyone has the right to information about the projects and data in the area of ​​public authority, which affect the natural environment in his habitat, as far as not contrary to federal law, legally protected interests of third parties or the well-being of the public. The details are regulated by the laws.

Part II, Section III, Article 35:

(1) The country and local communities protect and nurture the natural foundations of present and future life. They have the effect of sparing raw materials and avoiding waste.

(2) Each individual is obliged to contribute to his efforts.

(3) Damage to the natural environment that has occurred shall, as far as possible, be remedied or otherwise compensated.

(4) The details are regulated by the laws.

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Saxony

Saxony

Constitution of the Free State of Saxony (1992)

December 72017

Section I, Article 10:

(1) The protection of the environment as a livelihood is, also in responsibility for future generations, duty of the country and obligation of all in the country. In particular, the land must protect the soil, the air and the water, animals and plants as well as the landscape as a whole including its growing settlement areas. It has to work towards the economical use and the recovery of raw materials and the economical use of energy and water.

(2) Recognized nature conservation associations have the right to participate in environmentally sound administrative procedures in accordance with the law. They have the right to sue in environmental matters; the closer determines a law.

(3) The State recognizes the right to enjoy natural beauties and recreation in the wild, as far as this does not conflict with the objectives of paragraph 1. Within this framework, the general public should be given access to mountains, forests, fields, lakes and rivers.

Section II, Article 34:

“Each person has the right to information about the data concerning the natural environment in their habitat, as far as they have been collected or stored by the Land and as far as not contrary to federal law, legally protected interests of third parties or overriding concerns of the general public.”

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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Constitution of the Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (1993)

November 302017

Section I, Part II,  Article 6:

“(3) Everyone has the right of access to information about the environment that exists in the public administration.”

Section I, Part III,  Article 12:

“(1) Land, municipalities and districts as well as the other public administration authorities protect and maintain the natural foundations of current and future life and the animals within the scope of their responsibilities. They have an effect on the economical use of natural goods.

(2) Land, municipalities and districts protect and care for the landscape with its natural beauties, forests, corridors and avenues, the inland waters and the coast with the lagoon and Bodden waters. Free access to them is guaranteed.

(3) Everyone is required to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of paragraphs 1 and 2. This applies in particular to agriculture, forestry and water management in their importance for landscape management.

(4) Interventions in nature and landscape should be avoided, damages from unavoidable interventions should be compensated, and any damage already incurred should, as far as possible, be remedied.

(5) The details are regulated by law.

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Brandenburg

Brandenburg

Constitution of the Land of Brandenburg (1992)

November 92017

Section VIII,  Article 39:

“(1) It is the duty of the Land and all persons to protect nature, the environment and the evolved man-made landscape as the basis for present and future life.

(2) Every person shall have the right to the protection of his physical integrity from injury and unreasonable danger arising from changes in the natural foundations of life.

(3) Animals and plants shall be respected as living beings. Species and species-appropriate habitats shall be preserved and protected.

(4) State environmental policy shall work towards the economical use and reuse of raw materials as well as the economical use of energy.

(5) Land, municipalities, associations of municipalities and other corporations under public law shall have a duty to protect the environment from damage or pollution and to ensure that environmental damage is eliminated or offset. Public and private projects shall require proof of their environmental compatibility. Property may be restricted if, contrary to law, the environment is seriously damaged or endangered by its use.

(6) The disposal of waste that is not created within the territory of the Land shall only be permitted in exceptional cases in consideration of the peculiarities of Berlin, and shall be ruled out insofar as its composition poses a specific danger to health or the environment. Details shall be regulated by a law.

(7) The Land, municipalities and associations of municipalities shall be obliged to collect and document information on current and expected pressures on the natural environment; owners and plant operators have a corresponding duty of disclosure. Every person shall have the right to this information, insofar as this does not conflict with overriding public or private interests. Details shall be regulated by a law.

(8) Legal action instituted by an association in the interests of its members or the public good shall be permitted. Recognised environmental associations shall have the right to participate in administrative procedures that affect the natural foundations of life. Details shall be regulated by a law.

(9) The Land shall work towards the aim that no atomic, biological or chemical weapons are developed, produced or stored on its territory.

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Albania

Albania

Constitution of the Republic of Albania (1998)

October 132017

Part 2, Chapter IV, Article 56:

“Everyone has the right to be informed about the status of the environment and its protection.”

Part 2, Chapter V, Article 59(1):

“The state, within its constitutional powers and the means at its disposal, and to supplement private initiative and responsibility, aims at:

e. a healthy and ecologically adequate environment for the present and future generations;”

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Somalia

Somalia

Provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia (2012)

October 122017

Chapter II, Title II, Article 25:

1. Every person has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being, and to be protected from pollution and harmful materials.”

Chapter II, Title II, Article 27(1):

“Every person has the right to clean potable water.

Chapter III, Article 45:

“1. The Federal Government shall give priority to the protection, conservation, and preservation of the environment against anything that may cause harm to natural biodiversity and the ecosystem.

2. All people in the Federal Republic of Somalia have a duty to safeguard and enhance the environment and participate in the development, execution, management, conservation and protection of the natural resources and environment.

3. The Federal Government and the governments of the Federal Member States affected by environmental damage shall:

  • a. Take urgent measures to clean up hazardous waste dumped on the land or in the waters of the Federal Republic of Somalia;
  • b. Enact legislation and adopt urgent necessary measures to prevent the future dumping of waste in breach of international law and the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia;
  • c. Take necessary measures to obtain compensation from those responsible for any dumping of waste, whether they are in the Federal Republic of Somalia or elsewhere;
  • d. Take necessary measures to reverse desertification, deforestation and environmental degradation, and to conserve the environment and prevent activities that damage the natural resources and the environment of the nation.

4. In consultation with the Federal Member States, the Federal Government shall adopt general environmental policies for the Federal Republic of Somalia.”

Chapter V, Title I, Article 52(1):

“The Federal Government and Federal Member State governments shall ensure that meetings between the Presidents of the Federal Member States and high ranking officials be held regularly to discuss issues that affect their territories, including:

e. The prevention of erosion and the protection of the environment;”

Chapter XV, Title I, Article 133(6):

“In assigning a drafting project mentioned in Clause (5), the Oversight Committee shall prioritize the project as follows:

b.Accord high priority to a project that aims at changing the behaviors that constitute a social problem concerning:

  • i. National security, public safety, the protection of basic human rights, or the environment;”
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Hawai’i

Hawai’i

The Constitution of the State of Hawaii (1978)

February 202017

Article XI, Section 9:

“Each person has the right to a clean and healthful environment, as defined by laws relating to environmental quality, including control of pollution and conservation, protection and enhancement of natural resources. Any person may enforce this right against any party, public or private, through appropriate legal proceedings, subject to reasonable limitations and regulation as provided by law.”

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1780)

February 72017

Article XLIX:

“The conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water and other natural resources of the commonwealth are public uses, and the general court shall have power to provide for the taking, upon payment of just compensation therefor, of lands and easements or interests therein, including water and mineral rights, for the purpose of securing and promoting the proper conservation, development, utilization and control thereof and to enact legislation necessary or expedient therefor.”*

*In 1972, Article XCVII was added, which annulled Article XLIX above. Article XCVII reads:

“The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose.

The general court shall have the power to enact legislation necessary or expedient to protect such rights.

In the furtherance of the foregoing powers, the general court shall have the power to provide for the taking, upon payment of just compensation therefor, or for the acquisition by purchase or otherwise, of lands and easements or such other interests therein as may be deemed necessary to accomplish these purposes.

Lands and easements taken or acquired for such purposes shall not be used for other purposes or otherwise disposed of except by laws enacted by a two thirds vote, taken by yeas and nays, of each branch of the general court.”

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Illinois

Illinois

Constitution of the State of Illinois (1970)

February 72017

Article XI, Section 1:

“The public policy of the State and the duty of each person is to provide and maintain a healthful environment for the benefit of this and future generations. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the implementation and enforcement of this public policy.”

Article XI, Section 2:

“Each person has the right to a healthful environment. Each person may enforce this right against any party, governmental or private, through appropriate legal proceedings subject to reasonable limitation and regulation as the General Assembly may provide by law.”

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Nepal

Nepal

Constitution of Nepal (2015)

September 282015

Part 3, Article 35(4):

“Each citizen shall have the right to access to clean water and hygiene.”*

*This provision was added in the 2015 Constitution of Nepal.

Part 3, Section 16, Article 1:

“Every person has the right to live in a clean environment.”

Part 4, Article 35(5):

“The State shall make necessary arrangements to maintain clean environment. The State shall give priority to the protection of the environment, and also to the prevention to its further damage due to physical development activities by increasing the awareness of the general public about environmental cleanliness, and the State shall also make arrangements for the special protection of the environment and the rare wildlife. Provision shall be made for the protection of the forest, vegetation and biodiversity, its sustainable use and for equitable distribution of the benefit derived from it…”*

* Nepal’s 2007 Interim Constitution was replaced by the 2015 Constitution of Nepal. The environmental rights provision has been moved to Part 3, Section 30, which now reads: “Right regarding clean environment: (1) Each person shall have the right to live in a healthy and clean environment. (2) The victim of environmental pollution and degradation shall have the right to be compensated by the pollutant as provided for by law. (3) Provided that this Article shall not be deemed to obstruct the making of required legal provisions to strike a balance between environment and development for the use of national development works.”

The statement of public policy has been extended and altered to remove the direct reference to the substantive environmental right. The relevant text, now appearing in Part 4, Section 51(g), reads: “(5) The State shall pursue a policy of making a sustainable use of biodiversity through the conservation and management of forests, fauna and flora, and by minimizing the negative impacts of industrialization and physical development by promoting public awareness on environmental cleanliness and protection…(7) The State shall pursue a policy of adopting appropriate ways of minimizing or stopping negative effects on environment if it is there, or if there is a possibility of such an impact on nature, environment, or biodiversity.”

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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Constitution of the Dominican Republic (2010)

July 132014

Title I, Chapter IV, Article 15:

“Water constitutes an inalienable, imprescriptible strategic national patrimony for the use of the public that is not subject to seizure and is essential for life. Human consumption of water takes priority over any other use. The State shall promote the planning and implementation of effective policies for the protection of the water resources of the Nation.”

Title II, Chapter I, Section II, Article 61:

“Every person has the right to an integral health. In consequence,The State must see to the protection of the health of all persons, the access to potable water, the improvement of nutrition, of the health services, the hygienic conditions, the healthy environmental, as well as to procure the means for the prevention and treatment of all diseases, assuring the access to medicines of quality and providing medical and hospital assistance gratuitously to those who require it.”

 

Title II, Chapter I, Section IV, Article 67:

“The prevention of pollution, and the protection and maintaining of the environment for the benefit of the present and future generations, constitute duties of the State. In consequence:

1. Every person has the right, both individually and collectively, to the sustainable use and enjoyment of the natural resources; to live in a healthy, ecologically balanced and suitable environment for the development and preservation of the various forms of life, of the landscape and of nature;

2. The introduction, development, production, possession, commercialization, transport, storage and use of chemical, biological and nuclear and agrochemical weapons that are internationally forbidden, is prohibited, as well as of nuclear residues and toxic and hazardous wastes;

3. The State shall promote, in the public and private sectors, the use of alternative and clean technologies and energy;

4. In the contracts celebrated by the State or in the permits that it grants that involve the use and exploitation of the natural resources, the obligation to preserve the ecological equilibrium, the access to technology and its transfer, as well as the reestablishment of the environment to its natural state, if it is altered as a result, will be considered as included;

5. The public powers shall prevent and control the factors of environmental degradation, will impose the legal sanctions, and the objective responsibility for damages caused to the environment and to the natural resources and will require reparation of them. Likewise, they will cooperate with other nations in the protection of the ecosystems along the maritime and terrestrial frontier.”*

*Article 67 in the Constitution of the Dominican Republic was changed in 2015 to read:

Preventing contamination, protecting and maintaining the environment for the enjoyment of present and future generations constitute duties of the State. Consequently:

  1. All people have the right, both individually and collectively, to the use and sustainable enjoyment of natural resources, to live in an environment that is healthy, ecologically balanced, and adequate for the development and preservation of the different forms of life, scenery and nature.
  2. The introduction, development, production, tenancy, commercialization, transportation, storage, and use of chemical, biological, nuclear, and agro-chemical weapons that are internationally banned is prohibited, as well as nuclear residues and toxic and dangerous waste.
  3. The State shall promote, in the public and private sector, the use of alternative and non-contaminating technologies and energies.
  4. In the contracts made by the State or in the permits that it grants that involve the use and exploitation of natural resources, it shall include consideration of the obligation to conserve the ecological equilibrium, the access to technology and its transference, as well as to reestablish the environment to its natural state, if it were to be changed.
  5. The public powers shall prevent and control the factors of environmental deterioration, shall impose legal sanctions, the objective responsibility for damages caused to the environment and to natural resources, and shall demand their repair. Additionally, they shall cooperate with other nations in the protection of ecosystems for the length of the marine and land borders.”
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France

France

Constitution of the French Fifth Republic (1958)

July 132014

Charter for the Environment (2004), Article 7:

“Everyone has the right, subject to the conditions and within the limits defined by the law, to have access to the information relating to the environment held by the public authorities…”

“Everyone has the right, subject to the conditions and within the limits defined by the law … to participate in the making of public decisions which have an impact on the environment.”

Charter for the Environment(2005), Article 1:

“Everyone has the right to live in a stable environment which respects health.”

*This provision in the Charter of the Environment was grafted onto the
Constitution of the French Fifth Republic (1958) in 2005, when it gained
the status of a constitutional law.

Charter for the Environment (2004), Article 9:

“Research and innovation shall assist the preservation and utilization of the environment”

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Kenya

Kenya

Constitution of Kenya (2010)

July 132014

Chapter IV, Part II, Article 42:

“Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment, which includes the right a) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures, particularly those contemplated in Article 69 …”

“… (b) to have obligations relating to the environment fulfilled under Article 70.” [Article 70 provides that any person may apply to a court for redress of damage to the environment.]

Chapter IV, Part II, Article 43:

“1. Every person has the right- … (d.) to clean and safe water in adequate quantities;”

Chapter V, Part I, Article 62:

“The State shall put in place affirmative action programmes designed to ensure that minorities and marginalised groups- … (e.) have reasonable access to water, health services and infrastructure.”

Chapter V, Part II, Article 69:

“The State shall— (a) ensure sustainable exploitation, utilisation, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources, and ensure the equitable sharing of the accruing benefits; (b) work to achieve and maintain a tree cover of at least ten per cent of the land area of Kenya; (c) protect and enhance intellectual property in, and indigenous knowledge of, biodiversity and the genetic resources of the communities; (d) encourage public participation in the management, protection and conservation of the environment; (e) protect genetic resources and biological diversity; (f) establish systems of environmental impact assessment, environmental audit and monitoring of the environment; (g) eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment; and (h) utilise the environment and natural resources for the benefit of the people of Kenya….”

 

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Kosovo

Kosovo

Constitution of The Republic of Kosovo (2008)

July 122014

Chapter I, Article 7:

“The constitutional order of the Republic of Kosovo is based on the principles of freedom, peace, democracy, equality, respect for human rights and freedoms and the rule of law, non-discrimination, the right to property, the protection of environment, social justice, pluralism, separation of state powers, and a market economy.”

Articles 52(2) and (3):

“2. Everyone should be provided an opportunity to be heard by public institutions and have their opinions considered on issues that impact the environment in which they live.  3. The impact on the environment shall be considered by public institutions in their decision making processes.”

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Serbia

Serbia

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia (2006)

July 122014

Part II, Section 2, Article 74:

“Everyone shall have the right to healthy environment . . . .”

“. . . and the right to timely and full information about the state of environment.”

Part II, Section 2, Article 74:

“Everyone, especially the Republic of Serbia and autonomous provinces, shall be accountable for the protection of environment.”

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Montenegro

Montenegro

Constitution of Montenegro (2007)

July 122014

Part 2, Article 23:

“Everyone shall have the right to a sound environment…”

“… Everyone shall have the right to receive timely and full information about the status of the environment, to influence the decision-making regarding the issues of importance for the environment, and to legal protection of these rights…”

“… Everyone, the state in particular, shall be bound to preserve and improve the environment.”

Part 2, Article 23:

“Everyone, the state in particular, shall be bound to preserve and improve the environment.”

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Colombia

Colombia

Constitution of the Republic of Colombia (1991)

July 112014

Title II, Chapter 3, Article 79:

“Every individual has the right to enjoy a healthy environment. . . .”

“. . . The law will guarantee the community’s participation in the decisions that may affect it. . . .”

“. . . It is the duty of the state to protect the diversity and integrity of the environment, to conserve the areas of special ecological importance, and to foster education for the achievement of these ends.”

Title II, Chapter 3, Article 79:

“It is the duty of the State to protect the diversity and integrity of the environment, to conserve the areas of special ecological importance, and to foster education for the achievement of these ends.”

Title II, Chapter 3, Article 80:

“The State will plan the handling and use of natural resources in order to guarantee their sustainable development, conservation, restoration, or replacement. Additionally, it will have to caution and control the factors of environmental deterioration, impose legal sanctions, and demand the repair of any damage caused. In the same way, it will cooperate with other nations in the protection of the ecosystems located in the border areas.”

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Armenia

Armenia

Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (1995)

July 112014

Chapter 2, Article 33.2:

“Everyone shall have the right to live in an environment favorable to his/her health and well-being, and shall be obliged to, individually or as a group, protect and improve it…”

“… The public officials shall be held responsible for the concealment of or denial of access to information on environmental issues.”

Chapter 1, Article 10:

“The State shall ensure the protection and reproduction of the environment and the rational utilization of natural resources.”

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Brazil

Brazil

Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil (1988)

July 112014

Title II, Chapter I, Article 5, Paragraph LXXIII:

“[A]ny citizen has standing to bring a popular action to annul an act injurious to the public patrimony or the patrimony of an entity in which the State participates … to the environment ….”

Title II, Chapter IV:

“Require, as provided by law, a prior environmental impact study, which shall be made public, for installation of works or activities that may cause significant degradation of the environment.”

Title VIII, Chapter VI, Article 225:

“All have the right to an ecologically balanced environment, which is an asset of common use and essential to a healthy quality of life, and both the Government and the community shall have the duty to defend and preserve it for present and future generations.”

Title VII, Chapter VI, Article 225:

“In order to ensure the effectiveness of this right, it is incumbent upon the Government to:
I – preserve and restore the essential ecological processes and provide for the ecological treatment of species and ecosystems;
II – preserve the diversity and integrity of the genetic patrimony of the country and to control entities engaged in research and manipulation of genetic material;
III – define, in all units of the Federation, territorial spaces and their components which are to receive special protection. any alterations and suppressions being allowed only by means of law, and any use which may harm the integrity of the attributes which justify their protection being forbidden;
IV – require, in the manner prescribed by law, for the installation of works and activities which may potentially cause significant degradation of the environment, a prior environmental impact study, which shall be made public;
V – control the production, sale and use of techniques, methods or substances which represent a risk to life, the quality of life and the environment;
VI – promote environment education in all school levels and public awareness of the need to preserve the environment;
VII – protect the fauna and the flora, with prohibition, in the manner prescribed by law, of all practices which represent a risk to their ecological function, cause the extinction of species or subject animals to cruelty.
Paragraph 2 – Those who exploit mineral resources shall be required to restore the degraded environment, in accordance with the technical solutions demanded by the competent public agency, as provided by law.
Paragraph 3 – Procedures and activities considered as harmful to the environment shall subject the infractors, be they individuals or legal entities, to penal and administrative sanctions, without prejudice to the obligation to repair the damages caused.
Paragraph 4 – The Brazilian Amazonian Forest, the Atlantic Forest, the Serra do Mar, the Pantanal Mato-Grossense and the coastal zone are part of the national patrimony, and they shall be used, as provided by law, under conditions which ensure the preservation of the environment, therein included the use of mineral resources.
Paragraph 5 – The unoccupied lands or lands seized by the states through discriminatory actions which are necessary to protect the natural ecosystems are inalienable.
Paragraph 6 – Power plants operated by nuclear reactor shall have their location defined in federal law and may not otherwise be installed.”

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Mozambique

Mozambique

Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique (2004)

July 92014

Title III, Chapter IV, Article 81:

“1. All citizens shall have the right to popular action in accordance with the law, either personally or through associations for defending the interests in question. 2. The right of popular action shall consist of: (a) the right to claim for the injured party or parties such compensation as they are entitled to; (b) The right to advocate the prevention, termination or judicial prosecution of offenses against the public health, consumer rights, environmental conservation and cultural heritage.”

Title III, Chapter IV, Article 90(1):

“All citizens shall have the right to live in a balanced environment and shall have the duty to defend it.”

Title III, Chapter V, Article 90(2):

“The State and the local authorities, with collaboration from associations for environmental protection, shall adopt policies to protect the environment and shall promote the rational use of all natural resources.”

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Ukraine

Ukraine

Constitution Of Ukraine (2004)

July 92014

Chapter I, Article 13:

“The land, its mineral wealth, atmosphere, water and other natural resources within the territory of Ukraine, the natural resources of its continental shelf, and the exclusive (maritime) economic zone, are objects of the right of property of the Ukrainian people. Ownership rights on behalf of the Ukrainian people are exercised by bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government within the limits determined by this Constitution.

Every citizen has the right to utilise the natural objects of the people’s right of property in accordance with the law.”

Chapter II, Article 50:

“Everyone has the right to an environment that is safe for life and health, and to compensation for damages inflicted through the violation of this right. . . .”

“. . . Everyone is guaranteed the right of free access to information about the environmental situation, the quality of food and consumer goods, and also the right to disseminate such information. No one shall make such information secret.”

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Constitution of Costa Rica (1949)

July 92014

Title V, Article 50:

“The State shall procure the greatest welfare of all inhabitants of the country, organizing and promoting production and the most adequate
distribution of wealth.  Every person has the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment,…”

“… being therefore entitled to denounce any acts that may infringe said right and claim redress for the damage caused.
The State shall guarantee, defend and preserve that right.  The Law shall establish the appropriate responsibilities and penalties.”

*As amended by Article 1°, Law No. 7412, June 3, 1994

Title V, Article 50:

“Every person has the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment. The State shall guarantee, defend and preserve this right. The law will determine the corresponding responsibilities and sanctions…”

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Georgia

Georgia

The Constitution of Georgia (2003)

July 92014

Chapter II, Section 3, Article 37:

“Everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment and enjoy natural and cultural surroundings. Everyone is obliged to protect the natural and cultural surroundings.”

Chapter II, Section 3, Article 37(5):

“A person shall have the right to receive complete, objective and timely information on the state of his or her working and living environment.”

Chapter II, Section 3, Article 37(4):

“With the view of ensuring safe environment, in accordance with ecological and economic interests of society, with due regard to the interests of the current and future generations the state shall guarantee the protection of environment and the rational use of nature.”

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Kyrgyz Republic

Kyrgyz Republic

Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic (2010)

July 92014

Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 35(1):

“[C]itizens of the Kyrgyz Republic have the right to a favorable and healthy natural environment and to compensation for the damage caused to health or property by the activity in the area of nature exploitation.”

Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 48:

“Everyone shall have the right to environment favorable for life and health.”

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Bolivia

Bolivia

Political Constitution of the State (2009)

July 92014

Preamble:

“A State based on respect and equality for all…and on collective coexistence with access to water…”

Title II, Chapter II, Article 16:

“I. Every person has the right to water and food.”

Title II, Chapter II, Article 20:

“I. Every person has the right to universal and equitable access to basic services of potable water, sewer systems, electricity, gas services in their domicile, postal, and telecommunications services.

III. Access to water and sewer systems are human rights, neither are the object of concession or privatization, and are subject to a regimen of licensing and registration, in accordance with the law.”

Title II, Chapter V, Section I, Article 33:

“Everyone has the right to a healthy, protected, and balanced environment. The exercise of this right must be granted to individuals and collectives of present and future generations, as well as to other living things, so they may develop in a normal and permanent way..”

Title II, Chapter V, Section I, Article 34:

“Any person, in his own right or on behalf of a collective, is authorized to take legal actions in defense of environmental rights, without prejudice to the obligation of public institutions to act on their own in the face of attacks on the environment.”

Title II, Chapter V, Section I, Article 9:

“The following are essential purposes and functions of the State, in addition to those established in the Constitution and the law: To promote and guarantee the responsible and planned use of natural resources, and to stimulate their industrialization through the development and strengthening of the productive base in its different dimensions and levels, as well as to preserve the environment for the welfare of present and future generations.”

 

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Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Constitution of the Czech Republic (1993)

July 82014

Chapter 4, Section I, Article 35:

“Everyone has the right to a favorable environment.”

*The text of the constitutional environmental right above comes from The
Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms, which the Parliament
declared to be a constitutional law in 1991. The Constitution of the Czech
Republic later proclaimed the Charter “an integral component of the
constitutional system” in 1993.

Chapter 4, Section I, Article 35(2):

“Everybody is entitled to timely and complete information about the state of the environment and natural resources.”

Chapter 1, Article 27:

“The State protects the environment and natural resources of the country. It recognizes their close link with the sustainable economic and social development for making human life more sensible, and for ensuring the survival, welfare, and security of present and future generations. It corresponds to the competent organs to implement this policy.”

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Latvia

Latvia

Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (1998)

July 42014

Chapter VIII, Article 115:

“The State shall protect the right of everyone to live in a benevolent environment by providing information about environmental conditions …”

“… and by promoting the preservation and improvement of the environment. “

Chapter VIII, Article 115:

“The State shall protect the right of everyone to live in a benevolent environment by … by promoting the preservation and improvement of the environment.”

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Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

The Constitution of Burkina Faso (1991)

July 32014

Title 1, Chapter 4, Article 29:

“The right to a healthy environment is recognized; the protection, the defense and the promotion of the environment are a duty for all.”

Title 1, Chapter 4, Article 30:

“Every citizen has the right to initiate an action or to join a collective action under the form of a petition against the acts … affecting the environment or the cultural or historic patrimony.”

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

The Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic (1995)

June 302014

Second Chapter, Section III, Article 39:

“Every Person shall have the right to live in healthy environment.”

*This provision was moved to Second Section, Chapter 3, Article 39(I) in the 2009 Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Second Section, Chapter III, Article 39 (II):

“Everyone has the right to gain information about true ecological situation and to get compensation for damage done to his/her health and property because of violation of ecological requirements.” (2009)

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Finland

Finland

Constitution of Finland (1995)

June 272014

Chapter 2, Section 20:

“Nature and its biodiversity, the environment and the national heritage are the responsibility of everyone. The public authorities shall endeavour to guarantee for everyone the right to a healthy environment and . . . .”

“. . . for everyone the possibility to influence the decisions that concern their own living environment.”

Chapter 2, Section 20:

“The public authorities shall endeavour to guarantee for everyone the right to a healthy environment and . . . .”

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Norway

Norway

Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway (1990)

June 262014

Part E, Article 110b:

“Every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to natural surroundings whose productivity and diversity are preserved…”

“…In order to safeguard their right [to a healthy environment]” [citizens are] “to be informed of the state of the natural environment and of the effects of any encroachments on nature that are planned or commenced.”

Part E, Article 110b:

“Natural resources should be made use of on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well. The State authorities shall issue further provisions for the implementation of these principles.”

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Argentina

Argentina

Constitution of the Argentine Nation (1994)

June 32014

Part I, Chapter II, Section 41:

“All inhabitants are entitled to a healthful and balanced environment fit for human development in order that productive activities shall meet present needs without without endangering those of future generations; and shall have the duty to preserve it.”

Part I, Chapter II, Section 41:

“The authorities shall provide for environmental information and education.”

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Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Constitution of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1994)

March 22014

Chapter Three, Article 44, Section 1:

“All persons have the right to a clean and healthy environment.”

Chapter Ten, Article 92, Section 3:

“People have the right to full consultation and to the expression of views in the planning and implementations of environmental policies and projects that affect them directly.”

Chapter Ten, Article 92, Section 1:

“Government shall endeavor to ensure that all Ethiopians live in a clean and healthy environment.” Chapter 10, Article 92(4): “Government and citizens shall have the duty to protect the environment.” Chapter 10, Article 92(2): “The design and implementation of programmes and projects of development shall not damage or destroy the environment.”

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Moldova

Moldova

Constitution of the Republic of Moldova (1994)

March 22014

Title II, Chapter 1, Article 37, Section 1:

“Every human being has the right to live in an environment that is ecologically safe for life and
health, to obtain healthy food products and harmless household appliances.”

Title II, Chapter 1, Article 37, Section 2:

“The State guarantees every person the right of free access to truthful information regarding the state of the natural environment, the living and working conditions and the quality of food products and household goods.”

Title IV, Chapter 1, Article 126, Section 2:

“The State must ensure: the restoration and protection of the environment and the maintenance of ecological balance.”

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Belarus

Belarus

Constitution of the Republic of Belarus (1994)

March 22014

Section II, Article 46:

“Everyone is entitled to pleasant surroundings and to compensation for damage caused by violations of this right.”

Section II, Article 34:

“Citizens are guaranteed the right to receive, store and disseminate complete, reliable, and timely information … on the state of the environment.”

Section II, Article 34:

“State bodies, public associations and officials shall provide citizens of the Republic of Belarus with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with materials that affect their rights and legitimate interests.”

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Ecuador

Ecuador

Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (1984)

March 22014

Part 1, Title II, Section I, Article 19(2):

“Without prejudice to other rights necessary for the full moral and material development that derives from the nature of the person, the State guarantees: … The right to live in a pollution free environment. It is the duty of the State to ensure that this right is not affected and to promote the conservation of nature. The law establishes restrictions on the exercise of certain rights and freedoms, to protect the environment;”*

*Ecuador’s 1984 constitution was amended in 2008. Among the amendments ratified were a series of provisions relating to environmental protection, including the world’s first “Rights of Nature.” In particular, Title II, Chapter Two, Section Two, Article 14 states that “The right of the population to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment that guarantees sustainability and the good way of living (sumak kawsay), is recognized.”

Title II, Chapter II, Section I, Article 12:

“The human right to water is essential and cannot be waived. Water constitutes a national strategic asset for use by the public and it is unalienable, not subject to a statute of limitations, immune from seizure and essential for life.”

Title II, Chapter II, Section II, Article 15:

“The State shall promote, in the public and private sectors, the use of environmentally clean technologies and nonpolluting and low-impact alternative sources of energy. Energy sovereignty shall not be achieved to the detriment of food sovereignty nor shall it affect the right to water.”

Title II, Chapter II, Section VII, Article 32:

“Health is a right guaranteed by the State and whose fulfilment is linked to the exercise of other rights, among which the right to water, food, education, sports, work, social security, healthy environments and others that support the good way of living.”

Title II, Chapter VI, Article 66(2):

“The following rights of persons are recognised and guaranteed:…The right to a decent life that ensures health, food and nutrition, clean water, housing, environmental sanitation, education, work, employment, rest and leisure, sports, clothing, social security and other necessary social services.”

Title II, Chapter VII, Article 71:

“Nature, or Pacha Mama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes.

All persons, communities, peoples and nations can call upon public authorities to enforce the rights of nature. To enforce and interpret these rights, the principles set forth in the Constitution shall be observed, as appropriate.

The State shall give incentives to natural persons and legal entities and to communities to protect nature and to promote respect for all the elements comprising an ecosystem.”

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Russian Federation

Russian Federation

Constitution of the Russian Federation (1993)

February 242014

Section One, Chapter 2, Article 42:

“Everyone shall have the right to a favorable environment…”

“… [and] reliable information on the state of the environment and compensation for damage caused to his (her) health and property by violations of environmental laws.”

Section One, Chapter 1, Article 9:

“Land and other natural resources shall be utilized and protected in the Russian Federation as the basis of life and activity of the people living in corresponding territories.”

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Angola

Angola

Constitutional Law of the Republic of Angola (1992)

February 182014

Title II, Article 24, Section 1:

“All citizens shall have the right to live in a healthy and unpolluted environment.”

*This provision was moved to Article 39, Section 1 in the 2010 Constitution of the Republic of Angola, which added the phrase “…and the duty to defend and preserve it.”

Title II, Article 24, Section 2:

“The State shall take the requisite measures to protect the environment and national species of flora and fauna throughout the national territory and maintain ecological balance.”

*This provision was moved to Article 39, Section 2 in the 2010 Constitution of the Republic of Angola, which added the phrase “ensure the correct location of economic activities and the rational development and use of all natural resources, within the context of sustainable development, respect for the rights of future generations and the preservation of species. .”

Article 39, Section 3:

“Acts that endanger or damage conservation of the environment shall be punishable by law.”

Article 43:

“Citizens shall have the right to contest and take legal action against any acts that violate their rights as set out in the present Constitutional Law and other legislation.” 

*This provision was moved to Article 74 (Right to popular action) in the 2010 Constitution of the Republic of Angola, which changed the phrase to state, “Every citizen, either individually or through associations representing specific interests, shall have the right to take legal action in the cases and under the terms established by law, with the aim of annulling acts which are harmful to … the environment.”

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Paraguay

Paraguay

Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay (1992)

February 182014

Title I, Section II, Article 7:

“Everyone has the right to live in a healthy, ecologically balanced environment.”

Title I, Section II, Article 8:

“A law will define and establish sanctions for ecological crimes. Any damage to the environment will entail an obligation to restore and to pay for damages.”

Title I, Section II, Article 7:

“The preservation, recovery, and improvement of the environment, as well as efforts to reconcile these goals with comprehensive human development, are priority objectives …”

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Chile

Chile

Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile (1980)

October 22013

Chapter 3, Article 19, Section 8:

“The right to live in an environment free from contamination. It is the duty of the State to see to [it] that this right will not be affected and to guard the preservation of nature. The law can establish specific restrictions on the exercise of certain rights or freedoms in order to protect the environment.”

Chapter 3, Article 20:

“Anybody who, due to arbitrary or illegal actions or omissions, suffers privation, disturbance or threats in the legitimate exercise of the rights and guarantees established in Article 19 [including a “right to live in an environment that is free from contamination”] … (24) … may … approach the respective Court of Appeal which shall immediately adopt the measures that it deems necessary to re-establish the rule of law and to ensure the due protection of the affected person without prejudice to other rights which he/she might invoke before the competent authorities or courts. The action for the protection of fundamental rights (recurso de proteccion) shall always lie in the case of numeral 8 of Article 19, when the right to live in an environment free from contamination has been affected by an illegal act or omission imputable to an authority or specific person.”

Chapter 3, Article 19:

“The Constitution guarantees to all persons … … (8) The right to live in an environment that is free from contamination. It is the duty of the State to see to that this right will not be affected and to guard the preservation of nature.”

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Portugal

Portugal

Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976)

September 302013

Part I, Title II, Chapter 2, Article 52, Section 3:

“To all is conferred-personally or through associations that purport to defend the interests in issue-the right of popular action in the cases and under the conditions specified by law, including the right to advocate on behalf of the aggrieved party or parties … to promote the prevention, the suppression and the prosecution of offenses against … the preservation of the environment.”

Part I, Title III, Chapter 2, Article 66, Section 1:

“Everyone shall possess the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced human living environment and the duty to defend it.”

Part I, Title III, Chapter 2, Article 66, Section 1:

“In order to ensure enjoyment of the right to the environment within an overall framework of sustainable development, acting via appropriate bodies and with the involvement and participation of citizens, the state shall be charged with: a) Preventing and controlling pollution and its effects and the harmful forms of erosion; b) Conducting and promoting town and country planning with a view to a correct location of activities, balanced social and economic development and the enhancement of the landscape; c) Creating and developing natural and recreational reserves and parks and classifying and protecting landscapes and places, in such a way as to guarantee the conservation of nature and the preservation of cultural values and assets that are of historic or artistic interest; d) Promoting the rational use of natural resources, while safeguarding their ability to renew themselves and maintain ecological stability, with respect for the principle of inter-generational solidarity; e) Acting in cooperation with local authorities, promoting the environmental quality of rural settlements and urban life, particularly on the architectural level and as regards the protection of historic zones; f) Promoting the integration of environmental objectives into the various policies of a sectoral nature; g) Promoting environmental education and respect for environmental values; h) Ensuring that fiscal policy renders development compatible with the protection of the environment and the quality of life..”

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