Recent studies have shown that it is relatively new to the jurisprudence of constitutional environmental protections and requirements. The goal of this research was to review and synthesise literature with reference to South Africa and Swaziland on the underlying fundamental principles and patterns of constitutional environmental rights in Africa. Three recognised approaches to environmental rights are also recognised: anthropocentric (people-centered), ecocentric (environment-centered), theo-cultural and theocentricism (of culture and religion). Procedural, substantive, and unity are forms of environmental rights. In addition, environmental rights types include civil and political rights, also known as negative (enforceable) rights, and socio-economic rights, also called positive rights (not easily enforceable and requires state resources). The establishment and enforcement of environmental rights is assisted by many state, regional and international policies and legislation. For African countries, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights is relevant. Public engagement, the collection and distribution of environmental information, the creation and implementation of environmental legislation, policies and programmes, environmental compliance and enforcement, the provision of environmental infrastructure, the setting up of environmental collaborations and environmental education are important elements for the fulfilment of environmental rights. In particular, Africa, South Africa and Swaziland were found in this analysis to have embraced, to varying degrees, the principle of constitutional environmental rights and provisions. Consequently, to facilitate the protection of environmental rights, policies and regulations are in effect.
Author (s) Details
Dr. Cliff Sibusiso Dlamini
Center for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), Plot 4701, Station Exit Road Private Bag 00357, Gaborone, Botswana.
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