Faced with the challenges to improve the justice system on issues of environmental democracy and human rights, which allow solving socio-environmental conflicts in our country, a group of prominent specialists put forward various proposals to strengthen the institutions that play an important role in the environmental legal framework.
Currently, among the new challenges in Peru are the fulfillment of international commitments on human rights and climate issues; the protection of vulnerable people, including environmental defenders; the frontal fight against illicit activities; the consolidation of access rights with respect to the rights of investment projects and the strengthening of the environmental component in decision-making for the development of sustainable investments.
About, Jean Pierre Araujo, director of the Environmental Justice Initiative of the Peruvian Society of Environmental Law (SPDA)He argued that institutions should be strengthened at all levels to ensure compliance with the legal framework and achieve sustainable development with a view to decision-making and a more active citizenship.
“We must strengthen the right to justice of indigenous peoples. That justice reaches them and conflicts be resolved “, Araujo commented during the webinar” Environmental Justice and Human Rights “that was held as part of the event” The Peru we need: Proposals for a sustainable development agenda”, Organized by the 35 years of the SPDA.
Likewise, it proposed the institutionalization of environmental specialization in the Judicial Power and the Public Ministry at all levels, in order to strengthen the tools of environmental democracy that allow the full exercise of fundamental human rights.
About this theme, Danilo Espinoza, Attorney at the Ministry of the EnvironmentHe argued that “constant specialization in environmental law is important,” since many times there have been cases in which the magistrates are unaware of certain norms that could optimize the processes in terms of deadlines and resolutions.
In turn, Maruja Hermosa Castro, a member of the National Commission for Environmental Management of the Judiciary, clarified that “the criminal specialty is not the only way to solve processes in environmental matters”, because there are other mechanisms to ensure the validity of the forests, to give an example, and it is important that they know each other ”.
According to the Ombudsman’s Office, socio-environmental conflicts have monopolized the majority of conflicts in Peru in recent years. In 2020, the Public Ministry registered a total of 7125 crimes against the environment and natural resources at the national level, a figure that represented an increase of 56.52% compared to 2019, in which only 4552 crimes of this type were registered.