Green Advocates is Liberia’s first and only public interest environmental law and human rights organization working to develop and implement innovative programs that protect underserved communities through law and environmental advocacy.
The thematic programs at Green Advocates have been structured, amongst other things, to create a society where local communities are empowered to exercise their economic, social and cultural rights and are better served by the Government of Liberia as duty-bearer and multinational corporations demonstrate good corporate citizenship. The thematic programs are further re-enforced by the different Alliances, Networks, Coalitions and Multi-stakeholder Dialogues (MSD) inspired Green Advocates.
Forest Democracy Initiative
Focusing on forest law enforcement, community engagement with the forestry sector, forest product value chain and REDD+.
Rights and Business Initiative
Corporate accountability to address the impact of businesses on human rights.
Environmental Governance Initiative
Respect for public health; awareness and monitoring of Environmental Impact Assessments.
Economic Justice Initiative
National budget awareness; citizens participation in the national budget; debt relief; consumer advocacy.
Community Rights Initiatives
Community empowerment; access to information.
GIS mapping; helping communities clarify property rights, etc.
Public Interest Law/Advocacy
Legal representation for local communities and the rule of law.
Natural Resource Governance
EITI/PWYP; EITI value chain; Kimberley Process diamonds; Land tenure/conflict; water and fisheries.
Protecting The Environment
Environmental degradation, illegal natural resource exploitation, and massive human rights abuses associated with this exploitation are Liberia’s sad legacy. Green Advocates is working to strengthen environmental laws and practices to establish a solid legal basis to protect the environment.
Green Advocates reviews current environmental laws, regulations and practices, and synchronizes, harmonizes and codifies them into a logical framework that embraces a sound environmental management policy. Green Advocates proposes new legislation and provides general and specialized education and awareness on the environment, environmental laws, and practices.
Human Rights Advocacy/Protection
The link between human rights and the environment is undeniable. This is a program strategy Green Advocates intends to pursue vigorously. The history of Liberia (and many African states) is replete with wanton rights violations associated with suppressing dissent or protest over the destruction of the environment and the exploitation of natural resources.
Green Advocates conducts human rights education environmental and awareness activities on the right to life, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to share the benefits of natural resources. The premise underlying this program is that “knowledge is power.” Only when people are aware of their rights are they in a position to exercise, defend, or protect these rights.
Through the Human Rights Advocacy/Protection program, Green Advocates will use Liberian and international laws, protocols and mechanism not only as instruments to change and re-direct the Liberia’s environmental policy towards more sustainable use of the environment, but to protect and advance the rights of all Liberians to a clean, healthy, sound, safe, and sustainable environment.
Natural Resources and Tribal Peoples Rights
Tribal people in Liberia are often economically disadvantaged and unable to defend or protect their rights and tribal inheritance of land and local resources. These are predominantly farmers, hunters, traditional doctors, and high priests who depend on their natural habitat, the land, and their immediate environment for survival.
Experience in Liberia reveals that the national government, without prior consultation, assigns concession agreements or transfers ancestral lands to foreign or domestic multinational business concerns, without just compensation.
Green Advocates seeks to give voice to tribal peoples through education about property rights and legal claims based on the unique connection between tribal peoples and the environment. Green Advocates provides legal defense, including just compensation in future cases and lump sum compensation for past abuses, deprivation and dispossession.