Günther Maihold.; Viktoria Reisch · 2021
German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Environmental Rights and Conflicts over Raw Materials in Latin America. The Escazú Agreement Is Ready to Come into Force in 2021

On 5 November 2020 Mexico ratified the so-called Escazú Agreement, a treaty between Latin American and Caribbean states on establishing regional transparency and en­viron­­ment standards, as the eleventh country to do so. The prescribed quorum of ratifications has thus been attained, and the agreement can come into force in 2021. This will launch an innovative multilateral instrument that is intended to create more citizen par­ticipation and improve the assertion of citizens’ rights in environmental matters. In Latin America, economic interests dominate when it comes to the exploitation of raw materials; furthermore, there is a large number of conflicts over resources. The agree­ment thus offers affected indigenous tribes and human-rights defenders more oppor­tu­nities for information, participation and access to the justice system in environmen­tal matters. Despite this binding first step, some leading countries in the region have so far failed to ratify the agreement. Many of them are reluctant to join, arguing that cer­tain provisions violate their national sovereignty and their freedom of decision. For Germany and Europe, the agreement offers new leverage for drafting supply chain laws.

Access the article here: https://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/comments/2021C04_EscazuAgreement.pdf

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Günther Maihold

Günther Maihold
German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Günther Maihold has been the Deputy Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) since 2004. Coming from a background of Political Science and Sociology, Prof Maihold received his doctorate in 1987 from the University of Regensburg, where he subsequently worked as a Research Fellow. After having spent eight years as project manager in social policy consulting in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, as well as the Department for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, he was appointed Director of the Ibero-American Institute of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin. Günther Maihold was a lecturer at the University / GH Duisburg and at the Latin American Institute of the Free University of Berlin. Since November 2006, he has been an Honorary Professor in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin

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