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Call for Nominations Environmental Rights & Remedies: a course for activists

1 July 2020 at 12:19 pm

Call for Nominations
21 September – 27 November 2020
Closing date: 31 July 2020

The Centre for Environmental Rights’ annual Environmental Rights & Remedies Course for environmental justice activists is a key component of CER’s activist support and training work. Developed from a demand from our community partners for rights training and building on existing initiatives like groundWork’s Environmental Justice School, the Rights & Remedies Course empowers participants from rural and urban areas who bear the environmental and socio-economic brunt of polluting industries operating close to their homes and places of work.

Without fail, over the past 3 years, the Centre for Environmental Rights has hosted the annual training. After each edition, an evaluation of the course is conducted to assess the value and impact the training has on participants and their ability to practically apply and defend their right to a healthy environment for their communities.

In many instances, remarks from the graduates indicate that the course significantly enhanced the way they approach environmental activism, with one describing it as the best training he had ever attended. As a result of the training, the graduates demand compliance with environmental laws in their communities, and exercise legal remedies taught on the course as well as gained through ongoing support and guidance from CER attorneys appointed as their mentors.

The 2020 call for nominations is here. Our fourth edition of the course is a milestone for the Activist Support and Training Programme, as this is the last course with this current funding agreement with the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust.

Ordinarily, participants would travel to Cape Town, however, the outbreak of the coronavirus means having to reimagine the delivery of the course under these circumstances. As a result, this year, the course takes place virtually via an online platform. The CER will provide the selected participants with resources and tools to enable them to actively participate and substantially engage with the training material through the online platform.

The 2020 Rights and Remedies course will continue to focus on practical training outcomes, imparting legal knowledge, and equip participants with the skills necessary to facilitate engagement with government and industry, including the use of statutory remedies (e.g. writing complaint and objection letters, reporting environmental violations, and using access to information laws). The course will include practical sessions on topics ranging from organising stakeholder meetings and media engagement, to effective presentation skills and record-keeping. Designed to capacitate seasoned activists from communities affected by environmental rights violations, the course empowers participants to use the law to assert their rights, push for compliance, and hold government and the private sector accountable for environmental violations. During the course, each participant selects a pressing issue in their community which they will be tackling, using the remedies learnt at the course. Successful applicants return to their communities and act as focal points for environmental rights.

Rights and Remedies class of 2019 at Parliament, Cape Town

To apply – or nominate – someone for this course, download the nomination form.

Closing date for nominations is 31 July 2020.

For enquiries, please contact CER attorney, Matome Kapa, on [email protected] or 021 447 1647.