Developing Ethiopia’s first Green Tribunal

Ethiopia is a part of the world that is particularly vulnerable to some of the most devastating effects of climate change. These include increases in temperature and reductions in rainfall, both of which threaten the livelihoods and overall health of the people living there. Forecasts suggest the effects of climate change will worsen over the coming years and have a detrimental impact on millions of lives.

As such, active efforts are being made to slow the effects of climate change in Ethiopia. This includes work to support sustainable agriculture and the regeneration of degraded forests, as well as the implementation of environmental laws. However, lack of environmental technical expertise of both judges and prosecutors is one of the major difficulties facing the effective enforcement of these laws.

Our lawyers have worked on a pro bono basis to support the development of the first Green Tribunal in Ethiopia. The specialised federal administrative environmental tribunal will preside over administrative cases of environmental issues and review cases that involve compensation, rehabilitation and bans (among others). As part of its implementation, the tribunal will see the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission train judges on environmental law.

This tribunal is expected to be operational in three years.