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Climate Governance Newsletter – 1st edition 2021

Hi there,  

2020 was quite a year. Finally, green recovery plans are starting to take centre-stage in government agendas around the world. In the last six months, we continued to work in over 20 countries to make sure that recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is not only green but also fair and just for all, with no funding lost to corruption. 

Check out our highlights from 2020:

Last October, in Peru, we brought landmark cases of corruption, human rights abuses, and environmental crimes to the Inter-American Council on Human Rights. For the first time ever, the court was presented with how indigenous leaders protecting their lands from illegal deforestation face violent and often deadly retaliation. 

We released a governance assessment of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s National REDD+ Fund, offering recommendations to strengthen integrity andsafeguard the second largest rainforest in the world from falling victim to corruption.

We held two workshops at the International Anti-Corruption Conference on how to pave the way for climate action integrity as well as the detrimental effects of corruption in the Amazon. 

Here is a glimpse at some of our work in 2021:

International Forest Day & Earth Day

On March 21, we marked International Forest Day by spreading the word about human rights violations and impunity suffered by those protecting our forests and environment.

On April 22, Earth Day, we welcomed the United States’ decision to revive climate commitments and the new EU climate law to cut carbon emissions by 55% by 2030. It was a historical moment for social and climate justice. 

This year’s Earth Day also marked the first day that the Escazú Agreement, an environmental treaty in Latin American and Caribbean countries, entered into force. The agreement is a big win for climate transparency in the region because it will ensure that citizens have protected rights to access information and participate in environmental issues. We are continuing our work to increase ratifications in the region, such as in Peru and Costa Rica.

Impact at a national level

Earlier this year, Transparency Maldives successfully advocated to the national parliament to approve a climate emergency declaration in the Maldives. More recently, they also successfully campaigned to stop the lift on shark fishing and trade bans. 

In Bangladesh, which is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, our chapter, together with SOAS, University of London, published a report on embezzlement of climate project fundswhich found that approximately 35% of all climate finance in the country is lost to corruption. Transparency International Bangladesh also released a report assessing the governance challenges in disaster responses that revealed corruption in coastal infrastructure projects. 

In Kenya, our team contributed to the Kisumu County Climate Change bill, recommending ways to improve transparency in implementing and reporting to the National Climate Change Action 2018-2022.  

Want to learn more about climate and corruption?

Join us at a virtual panel on conservation, corruption and civic space on May 25. The session will feature voices from our very own Climate Governance Integrity Programme, WWF-International and the Targeting Natural Resource Corruption Project, Open Government Partnership and the World Resources Institute.  The panellists will unpack how to understand and address the complex social, political, and systemic factors that enable corruption to undermine environmental conservation.

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