environmental governance, South Asia, legacy of colonialism, constitutional provisions, judiciary, environmental rights, environmental protection
This paper covers important trends toward good environmental governance in the South Asia region comprising India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. The region is home to over 1.6 billion people constituting about a quarter of the total global population. Much of the region is bound by a common history of British colonialism and generally inherited its legacy of the rule of law. Following the example of India, many countries in the region adopted written Constitutions after their independence. A common feature of some of these Constitutions is the elaborate formulation of fundamental rights including the rights to life, liberty, religion, association and speech that are ‘justiciable’; that is, enforceable through the judiciary. This combination of constitutional provisions and judiciary-enforced actions has provided the basic structure for good environmental governance in the region. It is a unique story where the region’s judiciaries have played a pioneering role to promote and protect environmental rights.
(2001) 6(1) Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law 1.