Category Archives: Artículos

(Español) EL DILEMA ETICO ENTRE EL ACUERDO DE PARIS SOBRE EL CAMBIO CLIMATICO Y EL CARBON DE PUNTA CATALINA

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(Español) CARACTERIZACION Y AGENDA AMBIENTAL DE BARAHONA

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(Español) MANIFIESTO POR EL AGUA Y LA VIDA

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Victory for Environmental Defenders and Democracy in Latin America

After a 6-year negotiation process, 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries have adopted a regional agreement to ensure access to information, participation, and justice in environmental matters. Upon entering into force, the agreement will include the first ever legally binding provisions to protect environmental defenders from threats and attacks.

The agreement, also known as LAC P10 or the Escazú Convention, requires states to guarantee the right to a healthy environment, the right of access to environmental information, the right to public participation, the right of access to justice in environmental matters, and a safe environment for environmental human rights defenders.

ELAW provided support to several partners in the region as they participated in the negotiations.

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ELAW partner Carole Excell, Project Director of The Access Initiative, said the agreement “will make it easier for millions of people to access environmental information, participate in decision-making that affect their lives, and hold powerful interests to account for environmental injustices. It took vision and courage for Governments from the region to engage in developing this agreement with the significant and open participation of civil society throughout the whole process.”

ELAW partner Euren Cuevas Medina, Executive Director of Instituto de Abogados para la Protección del Media Ambiente (INSAPROMA) in the Dominican Republic, has worked on the agreement for many years. “This agreement will play a huge role in ensuring that environmental defenders in the Dominican Republic are protected from attacks,” said Euren.

ELAW partner Gabriela Burdiles Perucci, Attorney at Fiscalía del Media Ambiente (FIMA) in Chile, said, “It is a unique treaty because it addresses for the first time the issue of strengthening environmental democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, it protects vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples and other people who can not access or have difficult access to state institutions and courts to enforce their rights.”

ELAW partner Andrea Cerami, Attorney at the Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), said, “After being involved in the negotiation process for many years, I am pleased that 24 countries have adopted the LAC P10 agreement. It will provide the opportunity for States to guarantee that citizens and people in their jurisdictions can participate in environmental decision-making, and keep environmental and human rights defenders safer from attacks.”

Countries will be able to officially sign the agreement starting in September 2018. Once the agreement enters into force, ELAW will work with advocates to ensure State Parties are effectively implementing the agreement.

Around the world, environmental and human rights defenders are facing increasing attacks and threats for their work. In 2017, Global Witness reports that 197 environmental defenders were killed for their work, with 60% of them in Latin America.

Last week, ELAW partners at CEMDA released a new report, “Informe sobre la situatión de las personas defensoras de los derechos humanos ambientales” (Report on the situation of environmental human rights defenders). The report details attacks and harassment against Mexican environmental defenders.

For more information about the LAC P10 agreement, see:

Latin American countries sign legally binding pact to protect land defenders

4 Environmental Activists are Murdered Every Week. A New Agreement Could Help in Latin America and the Caribbean.

See original source in following link: http://elaw.org/victory-environmental-defenders-and-democracy-latin-america.

Identify land-based activities impacting the marine-coastal zone

Environmental lawyer Euren Cuevas Medina gave a lecture on “Land based activities that Impact the Coastal Marine Zone” within the consultancy “National Action Program (PAN) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Activities. The objective of this research is to identify the activities carried out by people on land that affect the coastal-marine zone, in order to develop plans that can reduce the negative impact on the marine-coastal zone.

 

Among the findings discovered in the investigation and identified as polluting sources are: Household masonry; High temperature waters; Distilleries; Sugar mills; Inorganic food processing plants, Paperboard; Fabrics for tanneries; Plastic products; Paper mills; Waste from animal production (poultry, swine, bovine); Slaughterhouses; Mining waste, Refineries; Likewise the means or ways that lead the pollution towards the coastal zone were identified as: Rivers, Streams, Open sewers, Lakes, Lagoons and Sewers.

 

The consultancy also identifies the legal and institutional framework that regulates these activities, and consequently the laws, international conventions, decrees, resolutions and regulations that guide the institutions responsible for the application of the legislation are indicated.

 

Dowload presentation – PDF – Spanish

Expert in Environmental Law Imparts conference in the Dominican Republic Senate

The environmental lawyer Euren Cuevas Medina, gave the conference “Impact of the Manual of Adaptation of Laws to Climate Change in Projects under study in the National Congress and Other Laws.” The keynote speech was offered within the framework of the “National Dialogue on Policies and Legal Instruments to Adapt the Management of Biodiversity to Climate Change”.

Mr. Cuevas Medina explained the importance of the Handbook in 5 considerations. First, it is a toolkit with policy and legal guidelines for adapting biodiversity management to climate change. The second is a manual of strategic options for adapting biodiversity management to Climate change, third: Adaptive Biodiversity Management is needed; Fourth: Because it uses the Law and Policy to Create Climate-Resistant Biodiversity Management and fifth: It provides options for implementing adaptive biodiversity management.

The Manual on Adaptation of Laws to Climate Change was prepared by a group of expert environmental lawyers worldwide and the Dominican Republic was represented by INSAPROMA with its international consultant Nelson Manuel Pimentel Reyes and was sponsored by the Lawyers Institute of Law Environmental Conference in Washington DC, and in the Dominican Republic. Jaragua Group, IDDIS, Academy of Sciences, UASD, among other institutions of government and civil society participated in the workshop the Senate Environmental Commission chaired by Félix Nova Paulino.

 

Euren Cuevas Medina
Executive Director of the Institute of Lawyers for the Protection of the Environment (INSAPROMA)

 

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT GAVE A CONFERENCE ON PROTECTED AREAS AND CLIMATE CHANGE AT SANTO DOMINGO HOTEL

The environmental lawyer Euren Cuevas Medina gave a lecture on “Legal Perspectives on Protected Areas and Climate Change in the Dominican Republic” within the framework of the Presentation of Final Results of the Institutional and Legal Framework of Protected Areas and Climate Change.

This presentation outlined the findings of the Sectoral Law on Protected Areas No. 202-04, which investigated the gaps and strengths in relation to climate change, with the aim of detecting such weaknesses to recommend actions that can strengthen the climatic resilience capacity of protected areas.

The environmental lawyer Euren Cuevas Medina was in charge of the consultancy promoted and coordinated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) so that these results can be used by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, in a possible reform to the sectoral law on protected areas.

See presentation (Spanish)

(Español) Cultivos hidropónicos al rescate del medio ambiente y la conservación del agua

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Third Meeting of the Conformation of the Regional Support Centre for Civil Society in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held in the Dominican Republic

The Institute of Lawyers for Environmental Protection participated in the conformation meeting of the Regional Support Center for Civil Society in Latin America and the Caribbean The meeting was held on 29 and 30 August at the Sheraton hotel in Santo Domingo in order to present the first product of regional Center consisting of the online regional platform for collaborative economy as well as the co-design of the launch of the regional Center, a process built on past discussions. This activity is a sign that civil society (OCS) has an important role at this time for growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. We understand that a space has opened for these entities, but its still not enough. This initiative has innovative goals for the above mentioned regions such as; manage a digital platform designed exclusively for the Regional Center to provide a more interactive communication between the OCS’s and the rest of the world, to design new tools for continuous improvements in management, initiate social and civic creations with potential to contribute to the development of institutions among other objectives.

Written by Mariana Castellanos

INSAPROMA

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DO YOU AGREE WITH THE CREATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL COURTS AS MANIFESTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT?

Currently in the Dominican Republic has four special courts, Labor Court to settle disputes between employers and employees in the private sector Children and Adolescents Court regulated by Law 136-03 of July 22, 2003, that handles all matters related to the behavior of children with their environment and their families, Tax Dispute Court which settles disputes arising between officials and employees of public administration and between state officials and private individuals regarding thei roles, the Special Traffic Court, before which violations to Law 241 and its modifications covering traffic accidents of motor vehicle, and finally we have the Family Court.

We note that these courts hear very particular issues that involve a specific population within the Dominican conglomerate, in that sense it is feasible to identify issues that would meet the Environmental Court if created, depending on what is represented by reference to the definition of Law 64-00 on Environment and Natural Resources, dated 18 August 2000, in its article 16 paragraph 35 that says; “Environment is the system of biotic, abiotic, socioeconomic, cultural and aesthetic interacting with individuals and the community in which they live, and determine their relationship and survival “, a definition that clearly specifies the powers of the Environmental Tribunal.

If we take every word of this definition of the Environment, we note that it is a system of biotic elements, which means all living things that inhabit the earth (humans, plants and animals); The second word should be taken as a reference is the “abiotic” which are those things that do not have life, such as metallic and non-metallic mining (sand, stones, gravel, air, soil, etc .); a third element to consider is the “socioeconomic” indicating that at the time of intervening over the Environment, we should take into account the social and economic aspect of the country, communities or any environment where they impact one way or another over the environment; the fourth element is “cultural“, it refers to those elements that represent the identity of a particular time, such as aboriginal pictographs (the faces of Lake Enriquillo National Park, the aboriginal cemetery of the Eastern National Park, Pomiel and San Cristobal Caves, etc.), and finally the “aesthetic” that has to do with the natural beauties. In fact we are signatories to the Convention for the Protection of Flora, Fauna and Natural Scenic Beauty of the Americas.

We should ask ourselves if we have a traffic courts for minors, tax litigation, labor, which are particular issues, why not have an environmental court if the environment and natural resources constitutes everything, as defined in environmental law ? but also protect the environment and natural resources, it is a matter of survival of the human race, so that the creation of the Environmental Court should be a necessity.

There could be theories that support the thesis that we are not prepared to create environmental courts and I ask myself; are common law judges that who know of environmental crimes today prepared? What are the main problems we have with environmental crimes? That judges simply do not know the ecological, economic, cultural and aesthetic values, etc. Of the environment and natural resources so that sentences do not correspond to the damage to the natural heritage, so in this regard with the creation of environmental courts, the Judicial College will have an obligation to train judges who know of environmental issues.

WHAT SANCTIONS WILL BE JUDGED IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL COURT?

Law 64-00 penalizes violators of it, with three types of administrative penalties stipulated in Article 167, which punishes with a fine of half (1/2) minimum wage up to three thousand (3,000) current minimum wages, on the date on which the offense was committed, depending on the economic dimension of the natural or legal person who caused the damage and the extent of damage caused. With the limitation or restriction of the activities that cause harm or risk to the environment, or if the case may be, subject to the same modalities and procedures that such injury or risk disappear; confiscation and / or seizure of objects, tools, appliances, vehicles, raw materials, products or articles, finished or not, used to cause the damage; and banning or temporary or provisional suspension of activities that generate damage or environmental risk sought to be avoided and, in extreme cases, partial or complete closure of the premises or establishment where the activity that generated the violation of this law and other related was carried out.

Criminal penalties:

As for the criminal penalties provided for in Article 183 of the Act, the Environmental Court may issue against individuals who have violated this law, the following sanctions or obligations: correctional prison term of six (6) days to three (3 ) years and, if they people had died because of the violation, it shall apply the provisions of the Dominican Penal Code; and / or a fine of one-fourth (1/4) of the minimum wage up to ten thousand (10,000) current minimum wages in the public sector on the date on which the judgment is delivered; and / or confiscation of raw materials, tools, equipment, instruments, machinery, transport vehicles, and products or articles, if any, arising out of the violation, or were used in the perpetration of the crime, or may themselves constitute a danger to natural resources and the environment, or the health of human beings; and / or the obligation to provide financial compensation to people who have suffered damages; and / or temporary or permanent withdrawal of the authorization, license or permit to exercise or engage in activities that have caused or threaten to cause harm or damage; and / or destroy, neutralize or dispose in accordance with the procedures outlined by this law and the competent authority, processed substances produced, manufactured, processed or offered for sale, likely to cause damage to human health and the environment ; and / or obligation to modify or demolish the buildings that violate provisions on protection, conservation and protection of the environment and humans; and / or the obligation to return to their country of origin and substances dangerous or harmful elements or combinations that have been imported in violation of the law; and / or install the necessary devices to stop or prevent pollution, impairment, decreased or degradation of the environment ; and / or the obligation to return the items to the natural environment from which they were stolen; and / or the obligation to repair, replace, compensate, restore, rehabilitate or restore its original state, as far as possible, the natural resource removed, destroyed, eroded, reduced, damaged or adversely modified.

Civil Sanctions:

For the application of this type of sanction it is required that there has been caused damage to property or to the person to be compensated, so provided in Article 169 of Law 64-00.

FOR WHICH FACTS MAY WHICH MAY THE ENVIRONMENTAL COURT IMPOSE THESE SANCTIONS?

Article 175 of Law 64-00 states that crimes against the environment and natural resources are committed when: Whoever violates this law, supplementary laws, regulations and standards and activities effected, considerably damaging natural resources or permanent ; who hunt, capture or causes the death of species declared endangered or legally protected; who use explosives, poisons, traps or other instruments or art that damage or cause suffering to species of terrestrial or aquatic fauna, whether endemic, native, resident or migratory; who violates the rules, parameters and permissible limits for discharges or disposal of toxic and hazardous substances legally defined, and discharge them into bodies of water, released into the air or deposited in unauthorized places for this, or at authorized sites without permission or clandestinely; who violates the rules, parameters and permissible limits, and pour untreated sewage into bodies of water or sewage systems, disposal of non-hazardous industrial solid waste in unauthorized to do so or emit air pollutants, exhaust gases, agents sites biological and biochemical; who violates the relevant technical standards and generate or handle toxic or hazardous substances, transform toxic or hazardous waste pollution moving to another receiving environment, or whom operate, store or download unauthorized places; who violates the regulations contained in the environmental licenses or permits, or obtained using false or altered environmental logbooks on emissions and discharges, or public official to grant such licenses or permits without complying with the requirements of the assessment process environmental impact, when the law so requires.

All offenses are not contemplated this article are punished with administrative sanctions.

PROPOSAL FOR THE CREATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL COURT

Law No. 821 of Judicial Organization dated November 21, 1927, as amended regulates the system of the Dominican courts, these courts are constituted in hierarchical order by the Supreme Court that divides them into three (3) chambers that They identify as First Chamber, Second Chamber and the Third Chamber, as established by Law No. 156-97, of 10/07/97, GO No. 9959; The Courts of Appeal, comprising eleven (11) judicial departments, are also divided into chambers; the Court of First Instance, which are classified into two groups, the fullness of Jurisdiction and those who do not have full jurisdiction and the Magistrates’ Courts, which hear cases from simple police and other minor matters.

The full jurisdiction is that the court hears of conflicts in various subjects, criminal, labor, civil, commercial, infants, children and adolescents, with the simple fact become the subject to be known at the time. Most courts know their affairs with full jurisdiction.

With regard to the facts that can be treated in environmental matters, we propose that the Environmental Court be created with full jurisdiction, to meet environmental criminal, civil and environmental administration, to rule over the subject matter presented at the time.

A Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal before which environmental issues should be created, the Court should be composed of three judges and the Court, with five judges as contemplated at present within Law 821 and Criminal Procedure code.

With the creation of environmental courts we would guarantee that the judges of environmental law offenders are punished in their proper perspective, depending on the damage and not questionable judgments from all points of view.

LIC. EUREN CUEVAS MEDINA
President