Historic Ruling on Climate Change & Deforestation: the Colombian Amazon Has Rights

When: Monday 16 April, 11:15am – 12:15pm
Venue: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development (Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen)

The Colombian Supreme Court of Justice recently ordered the protection of the Colombian Amazon from deforestation, ruling in favor of a group of 25 children and youth, who sued the Colombian government for failing to protect their rights to life, a healthy environment, health, food, and water. In order to protect this ecosystem, the Supreme Court not only recognized the threat against the plaintiff’s rights but also declared the Colombian Amazon as an entity subject of rights. This means that the State has a duty to protect, conserve, maintain, and restore the forest.

The ruling goes in the direction that other courts have been taking worldwide, ordering governments to fulfil their international commitments to address climate change. The ruling reaffirms the worldwide judicial acceptance of climate science and creates an important precedent on the rights of nature and future generations in the context of climate change.
While other climate rulings have mostly focused on the declaratory aspect of rights, this case also includes a set of remedies in the form of concrete obligations that the government should satisfy in a given period. This type of ruling might have better chances of improving implementation of judicial decisions and avoid the well-known gap between “rights on paper” and “real rights”.

Siri Gloppen (Prof., UiB/Dir., LawTransform), Esmeralda Colombo (PhD Candidate, UiB), and Catalina Vallejo (Lawyer, PhD in Climate Change Jurisprudence) will discuss the content of this historic ruling and its implications for the growing case law on climate change.

Free and open for all!


Please like our Facebook page for regular updates on upcoming seminars at LawTransform.