Advocacy

Greenwatch uses advocacy as a tool in implementing its activities.

Advocacy tools used include:
a) Networking with Civil Society Organizations, communities and other stakeholders on matters relating to the management and utilisation of the environment and;
b) Using democratic mechanisms, for instance submissions to Parliamentary Committees, use of Freedom of information laws etc., to achieve social justice.
c) Strategic Litigation
This is used as a tool to bring to notice, any action or activity that has, will have, or is likely to have negative implications on the environment and to raise or create awareness of the people’s environmental rights.

Litigation when utilized well can be a powerful tool in achieving systematic change by accessing the power of the judiciary to change laws. It can compel authorities to take action, extend rights to disadvantaged groups and force constitutional guarantees to be enforced.

The major objectives of strategic litigation are:

  1. To force offenders to obey environmental laws;
  2. To strengthen the existing legal framework /structure for the management of natural resources and environmental regulations that are under-utilized and;
  3. To re-define environmental rights.
  4. To raise awareness and foster public discussion about crucial environmental issues.

Strategic litigation is however used as a last resort after all other possible avenues are exhausted in order to bring about pressure for social and legislative change. Although it is difficult to implement, strategic litigation has registered some success in the past years. (See judgments)

d) Information Dissemination/ Publications
Dissemination of information is aimed at providing the public and grass roots groups with information on environmental rights, laws and policies that can help them participate effectively in decisions that impact on public health and environment in their communities. It aims at providing practical, strategic information on how the public can use the system of environmental law to change government practices. Greenwatch provides information on different environmental subjects/topics on a pro-bono basis to individuals, organizations etc.

A Handbook on Environmental Law Volume I & II has been developed over the years to serve as a reference.
An Environmental Law Casebook with recent environmental cases in Uganda and others from different jurisdictions in the region and outside in the field of environmental law has also been developed. The Casebook is used as a resource material in the training of the judicial officers.