The human right that benefits nature

A court in Costa Rica decided that a local municipality was illegally polluting a stream and this ruling set the stage for the country to ensure that a clean and healthy environment is a human right. They ingrained this right in their constitution joining about 110 other countries that have constitutionally recognized it. Although the law is not perfect, it has allowed courts to rule that killing endangered green sea turtles is unconstitutional, for example. Costa Rica’s success with this legal pathway could be used in other countries seeking to adopt the right to a healthy environment.

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