The State of Panama violated the land rights of indigenous communities impacted by the construction of the Bayano dam and failed to provide adequate judicial protection for the communities to protect their ancestral lands. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights directed the State of Panama to, among other things, demarcate community lands and pay compensation.
Costa Rican environment and energy ministry was justified in terminating a petroleum exploration contract when the oil company proposed exploration activities that would cause unacceptable environmental impact. Oil company violated contract obligations when it failed to obtain approval of its environmental impact assessment for exploratory drilling.
Court nullified 99-year agricultural lease awarded to oil palm developer. The Minister for Lands failed to obtain proper consent from customary landowners and neglected to conduct adequate consultation prior to issuing the lease.
The Supreme Court of Canada declared that the Tsilhqot’in Nation established title to 1,750 square kilometres of land including areas that are used for hunting, fishing, trapping, foraging and other cultural purposes or practices. The Court declared Aboriginal title holders have the “right to the benefits associated with the land – to use it, enjoy it and profit from its economic development” such that “the Crown does not retain a beneficial interest in Aboriginal title land.”
The Government of Belize violated Maya community members’ constitutional right to protection of the law by failing to ensure that the existing land law system recognized and protected Maya land rights.
The National Green Tribunal suspended the environmental clearance for a proposed hydroelectric dam until a study is completed to determine the impact of the project on endangered Black-necked cranes and its habitat.
The State of Washington has violated Tribes' off-reservation fishing rights by building and maintaining culverts under State roads that harm fish habitat and reduce the production of fish. Because (1) currently there is not enough harvestable salmon available to ensure the Tribes a moderate living, (2) the State’s culverts block roughly a thousand miles of streams suitable for salmon habitat, and (3) replacing or modifying those culverts (structures built to allow streams to flow under roads) to allow fish passage would produce several hundred thousand additional mature salmon each year, the State was ordered to identify all state-owned barrier culverts and ensure those culverts allow fish passage (by differentiated deadlines depending on several ecological and economic considerations).
This project has been made possible by the generous support of the Philip Stoddard Brown and Adele Smith Brown Foundation