The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)’s annual Environmental Rights and Remedies Course for environmental justice activists is a key component of CER’s activist support and training work.
Developed from demand from other community partners for rights training and building on existing initiatives like groundWork’s Environmental Justice School, the Rights & Remedies Course empowers participants from rural and urban areas who bear the environmental and socio-economic brunt of polluting industries operating close to their homes and places of work.
This is the fifth edition of the course and with their 2021 theme, women and environmental justice, they acknowledge that we operate in an environment with a deeply rooted culture of gender inequality.
Due to historically gendered divisions of labour, women are heavily dependent on the land as a source of food, and their labour in the domestic realm brings them in close proximity to the damages of climate change and to sources of pollution. This year, in addition to the course’s usual outcomes, they are also intending to build a cohort of empowered and connected women leaders for the climate and environmental justice movement.
The course will continue to focus on practical training outcomes, imparting legal knowledge, and equip participants with the skills necessary to facilitate engagement with government and industry, including the use of statutory remedies (e.g. writing complaint and objection letters, reporting environmental violations, and using access to information laws). The course will include practical sessions on topics ranging from organising stakeholder meetings and media engagement to effective presentation skills and record-keeping. Participants will be issued with stationery, including a laptop computer to assist with their work on environmental justice.
This year the course is going to take place in Johannesburg in September and October (the exact dates will be announced at a later stage). The CER are inviting nominations of prospective participants to the course from community-based organisations, civil society, and activists in the environmental and climate justice movement.
Please note: In the unlikely event that insufficient funding is available, the course may be postponed until further notice.