Environmental Law: Essay Example

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Environmental Law: 7

NGОs and how they influеnсе Intеrnаtiоnаl Environmental Law


The Influence of NGOs on Environmental Laws Constitution

NGOs are essentially private organizations that are not instigated by a government or any intergovernmental agreements (Zengerling 2013). The participation of NGOs in international affairs has been an ongoing phenomenon and can be tracked down to the 18th century when NGOs had vastly contributed to the entrenchment of law internationally. They intervene at various points in the cycle of environmental Law using power or influence at distinct stages. Even though these organizations do not have any legal right to put up anything formally, they exercise informal power and have effectively utilized it in changing how they address issues affecting the society (Yamin 2001).

In regards to environmental matters, international and national policy makers consult NGOs whenever issues that affect the society attain sufficient public attention due to the campaigns of NGOs. These organizations have been active in notifying states on the importance of international regulation of issues such as labor rights recognition, promotion of women rights, and the abolition of slave trade (Zengerling 2013).

Their influence has been attributed to growing strategies for intervening on various matters affecting the society including lobbying efforts and using the media networks. In addition, these organizations have increased their membership, which has surpassed the available resources, and this tends to improves finances. Greenpeace International for example has members that exceed 2.5 million in more than 158 states whose annual budget was approximately $30 million. Moreover, NGOs play an imperative role in the translation of technical scientific issues and concepts into information which the public can easily relate to (Louka 2006). This is achieved by galvanizing the membership networks and using media coverage to bring the existence of a problem to the public’s attention.

NGOs also play a fundamental role in lobbying for state action and International Corporation (Zengerling 2013). Greenpeace for instance expressed itself by using sophisticated media to joggle the mindsets of individuals. The objections of Greenpeace to Shell’s disposal of an oil storage platform that was toxic loaded through submerging it in Atlantic Ocean had insignificant effect on the UK law enforcers until the NGO aired a footage that showed its activists stopping the storage platform from being dipped in the sea (Louka 2006).

The strategy against Shell’s actions succeeded because petrol consumers boycotted all the shell stations across Europe and Germany leading to a drop in sales of 20%-30%.

Nonetheless, importuning at a global level is a significant strategic component of the lobbying facet of NGOs because final tradeoffs are made in the international forums. In regards to accessing the documentation of meetings, the internet has come up with leveling mechanisms that ensure these documents are easily accessible (Yamin 2001).

In dispatching NGO written documents, practices put in place are different in various environmental regimes. NGOs may leave batches on tables that are strategically placed in either meeting rooms or coffee bars (Yamin 2001).The involvement of NGOs in international affairs entails intricate interactions in formal decision-making forums. Other regimes have eased the process of acquiring these documents by coming up with “clearing house mechanisms” or hosting links to their corresponding websites (Louka 2006).

Lobbies that are present in meetings held globally are noticeable tips of industrial strength which is based on international and national structures of decision-making (Louka 2006).

The degree at which NGOs contribute to environmental law continues to increase in significance as the ideology of sustainable development calls for a connection of various governments across key policy areas or through several layers of governance. NGOs will play a crucial role as the social glue and vision that is necessary to attain perpetuated developments. Subsequently, domestic issues e.g. land tenure, transportation, poverty alleviation, and transportation will be brought forward as opposed to those global issues that are given the first priority by international NGOs (Zengerling 2013).

In conclusion, NGOs play an instrumental role in pushing for international legislations aimed at ensuring commitment by the various agencies, institutions, and governments to environmental sustainability. Through their lobbying activities and uncovering of information, NGOs influence the process of constituting environmental laws. NGOs are recognized as independent entities committed to the safeguarding of the interest of the wider society as well as regulating the actions of both the private and the public sector. In some cases, NGOs play the role of whistleblowers by bringing certain environmental issues to the attention of the international community for possible action.

Reference List

Zengerling, C 2013, Greening international jurisprudence on environmental NGOs before international courts, tribunals, and compliance committees, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Louka, E 2006, International environmental law: fairness, effectiveness, and world order, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Yamin, H 2001, NGOs and International Environmental Law: A critical evaluation of their roles and responsibilities, U.S.A, Blackwell publishers ltd