Legal Research and Analysis on Environmental Constitutional Law
Result of Service
The aim of the consultancy is to provide legal analysis that may contribute to inform decision making and national discussions towards greater protection of environmental rights.
The Consultant will work for a period of 6 months and will support the efforts with the responsibilities described below:
Under the direct supervision of the Environmental Governance Regional Coordinator, the consultant will support the implementation of environmental governance initiatives, with emphasis in the provision of technical legal assistance to the following:
- Environmental constitutionalism: Compile and analyse comparative environmental constitutional law, based on previous UNEP research and work, regard key issues for the region, including: a) Incorporation of environmental rights at constitutional level; b) relevant international human rights and environmental law, adopted at global and regional levels; c) principles of environmental law that are reflected and inform constitutions, d) articulation between collective and private property law and environmental protection; e) sharing of benefits from the use of natural resources, domain and ownership of natural resources and legal mechanisms for their utilization; f) constitutions which explicitly acknowledge global environmental challenges, such as climate change, and establishes national goals and enshrine decarbonisation, g) rights of access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters, including legal standing and constitutional actions in defense of the environment; h) participation of environmental constituencies in constitutional reform processes.
- Prepare three policy briefs on key aspects for environmental rule of law the region. Inform governments, UNCTs and relevant stakeholders at national and regional level, providing specific examples and recommendations for further incorporation of environmental rights in the national legal frameworks.
- Support in the organization of and participation in regional and national meetings, forums and webinars with focus on environmental rights.
Assist in the compilation and analyse the incorporation of environmental rights focused on the developments with constitutional law, based on previous UNEP research and work.
Product No. 1: Document containing an Outline of the compilation and comparative analysis with proposal of three key issues for the preparation of the policy briefs, indicating the criteria used for the selection. Working documents, reference materials and Power Point presentations to be included.
Preparation of three policy briefs on key aspects for environmental rule of law for the region, providing specific examples and recommendations for further incorporation of environmental rights in the national legal frameworks.
Product No. 2: Policy brief on Key issue 1, based on previous UNEP research and work, in Spanish and English versions, with related Power Point presentations, reference sources and supporting materials.
Product No. 3: Policy brief on key issue 2, in Spanish and English versions, with related Power Point presentations, reference sources and supporting materials.
Product No. 4: Policy brief on key issue 3, in Spanish and English versions, with related Power Point presentations, reference sources and supporting materials.
Organization of three webinars and participation in relevant meetings, seminars and webinars for the promotion of environmental rights in the region.
Product No. 5: Detailed report for every meeting, seminar or webinar conducted. Detailed description of tasks and outcomes, as well as summaries, briefing notes and presentations of the meetings held towards this consultancy.
Six (6) months.
Duties and Responsibilities
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
The UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC), located in Panama City, works closely with the 33 countries of the region and its activities are integrated into the Medium Term Strategy and the Programme of Work approved by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
The Latin America and the Caribbean Office helps to implement UNEP's programs by initiating, coordinating, and catalyzing regional and sub-regional cooperation and action in response to environmental challenges, opportunities and emergencies. UNEP ROLAC promotes the strengthening of environmental governance in the Latin American and the Caribbean region to support the achievement of internationally agreed environmental goals and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Samoa Pathway. ROLAC contributes to ensure coherence and synergy in environmental governance by enhancing stronger national institutions, better enforcement capacities and effective policies and laws; strengthening the enabling conditions for the full implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and Agenda 2030; and promoting the foundations for inclusive governance by focusing on the implementation of environmental rule of law.
Legal and institutional frameworks are key mechanisms for environmental protection at the national and regional levels. They provide the structures to set up standards, manage and regulate the environment in terms of developing legal approaches and in mandating various environmental institutions to take up their roles to implement, monitor and achieve environmental compliance. Although countries have over the years enhanced environmental rights and put in place national environmental legislation and related institutions, assistance to develop and strengthen their national environmental legislation and institutional capacity to implement environmental law is still required.
Strategic direction in this respect comes from the Fifth Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law (Montevideo Programme V) adopted by the United Nations Environment Assembly under resolution 4/20 in March 2019, as an intergovernmental programme designed to promote the development and implementation of environmental rule of law, strengthen the related capacity in countries, and contribute to the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda.
An area of relevance for the advancement of environmental rule of law is environmental constitutionalism, which has evolved in the region in the recent decades. Environmental rights and duties are enshrined in most of the political constitutions of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Many national constitutions expressly recognize the right to a healthy environment and include provisions on the domain of natural resources. Some of them go further to attribute an ecological function to property rights.
In this context and to support the fulfillment of the overall objective of the UNEP Sub-programme on Environmental Governance, the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is recruiting an Environmental Rights Consultant, with a particular emphasis to assist in preparation of a series of policy briefs on key issues for environmental rule of law in the region. For the elaboration of the policy briefs the consultant will identify and analyse models, trends and characteristics of the incorporation of environmental rights and natural resources in modern constitutionalism, taking as reference -but not being exclusive- the most recent cases of constitutional reforms in our region. Likewise, and considering the relevance of the emerged environmental issues at the region, it will also identify priorities areas through which policy documents would be developed.
The consultant is expected to work home-based during a 6-months period and will be supervised by the UNEP Environmental Governance Regional Coordinator in the Latin American and the Caribbean Office.
• An advanced University Degree (Master’s or equivalent) in environmental matters, or a first-level university degree in combination with at least 2 (two) additional years of the qualifying and relevant professional experience established below.
• Five (5) years of demonstrated professional competence in international relations, law, or policy development areas.
• Experience with environmental and sustainability issues is desirable. Knowledge of issues relating to the work of UNEP and United Nations is an advantage.
• Academic or professional experience in Latin America and the Caribbean region is desired.
• Fluent written and spoken Spanish is required. English is required at least at a basic level. Fluent written and spoken English is an asset.