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5 excellent citizen fights for the setting

In “Justice for the planet! », printed in August 2022 by Éditions de l’Atelier, and of which we give you an extract, Louis de Redon and Elisabeth Javelaud return to 5 circumstances which can have made it doable to vary French regulation within the area of environmental safety. . Shipwreck of the Erika, slaughter of the Cinnamon bear, wrestle of volunteer GMO reapers, mobilization towards Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport and Affair of the century, so many examples of citizen mobilizations to grasp how the regulation can contribute to the safeguarding of the pure heritage.


Within the metropolis, the residents make the regulation and the regulation organizes the lifetime of the residents. The regulation is the rule that we resolve between us to ascertain a coexistence in coherence with frequent values ​​and customary social initiatives.

The regulation organizes our relationships with the environment. Its mission is to create a protected house. Nevertheless, the ecological disaster that we’re experiencing is a supply of dysfunction and hazard. It’s due to this fact as much as the correct to handle our relationship with nature in order that we stay in a sustainable world: fulfill our wants in an inexpensive manner so that everybody can stay in dignity, present generations in addition to future generations.

We have now inherited the Earth. This frequent good, now we have the responsibility to transmit it. It’s on this sense that in 2005, our block of constitutionality built-in the Environmental Constitution desired by President Jacques Chirac. A textual content constructed round 5 major ideas (polluter pays, prevention, precaution, sustainable growth and participation) which goal to arrange the sustainable growth of our society. These ideas, now of constitutional worth, have been first affirmed in worldwide regulation and residents then took them up.

In recent times, the media protection of associative actions, on the a part of activists and activists, has profoundly modified the state of affairs. Ecological litigation is growing in France and all over the world. Our authorized edifice is shaken up. It’s as much as society as an entire to mobilize to defend the frequent good. This can be a collective in addition to a person accountability.

Environmental regulation has developed on this manner, via the motion of civil society which, via demonstrations and authorized actions, has pushed the State to behave. Nothing occurred by itself. The regulation of the setting, of the environment, is the fruit of a steadiness of energy imposed by activists on public authorities.

Environmental regulation is a proper born within the streets and earlier than the courts: by the motion of residents who’ve fought political and authorized battles. Political signal in a single hand, to parade via the streets of main cities in France, and authorized recourse within the different hand, to grab the decide of environmental litigation Environmental regulation will not be a regulation of parliamentary origin: its elaboration was executed in a praetorian manner, that’s to say that it’s constructed by the judges seized by the residents’ associations; a regulation then tempered by Parliament appearing as a second curtain which sadly limits the scope of jurisprudential advances.

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In actuality, nothing is feasible by way of the struggle towards local weather change and the safety of biodiversity with out the robust participation of residents within the public debate: by voting, in fact and primarily in a democracy, but in addition by demonstrations and authorized actions that complement the engagement in public inquiries and on social networks.

This wholesome and citizen lobbying emerged with the actual fact of associations. It continues to weigh due to him. Associations are the voice of nature which has none. We owe them loads and we owe loads to the volunteers, men and women, who for the reason that early Nineteen Seventies have partnered to vary the regulation to raised defend our planet and all that lives on it – together with us.

With out participation and with out associations, nothing can be doable. Participation will not be a proper provided to us. This isn’t an choice open to us. No, it is rather more than that: it is a responsibility.

This can be a ethical obligation imposed on us and a authorized obligation that now we have chosen to impose on ourselves inside our Structure, the basic regulation of our Republic.

On July 9, 2016, in Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP

5 iconic circumstances

It’s important to begin studying this e-book with in thoughts the pictures of those gloved and booted volunteers, shovel in hand, lined in these black and smelly patches of viscous crude oil, holding oiled birds by their unfold wings. […]

The sinking of the Erika occurred in December 1999. This growing old and poorly maintained tanker mustn’t have gone to sea. a number of and even a flag of comfort. The oil spill attributable to the Erika had main penalties. Justice was seized and the Courtroom of Attraction of Paris acknowledged in March 2010 for the primary time the existence of an “ecological harm” which needed to be repaired.

The Cinnamon bear was the final bear within the Pyrenees more likely to go on her genes. It did not save his life although. Fairly the opposite. Killed throughout a wild boar hunt in 2004, the announcement of her demise induced intense emotion. The President of the Republic on the time, Jacques Chirac, was publicly moved by it. An investigating decide carried out the investigation and the hunter who fired the shot was indicted for destroying a protected species. A number of associations are civil events. The judicial court docket of Pau retained “the state of necessity” and due to this fact exonerated the hunter from his felony accountability. However the environmental protection associations didn’t drop the case and appealed to hunt compensation. They lastly obtained the condemnation of the hunter to pay them the sum of 10,000 euros.

“The voluntary mowers” is a motion whose members are dedicated to destroying plots of crops of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the open area between 1997 and 2013. Extremely publicized, the mowers claimed their actions in court docket as falling of civil disobedience and non-violence. Nevertheless, within the eyes of the regulation, these actions represent offenses punishable by jail sentences and substantial fines. The mowers misplaced in court docket, however their actions triggered quite a few reactions from politicians, farmers and seed corporations, and the regulation developed: on the one hand, a “mowing offence” was built-in into the agricultural code, however on the one other a moratorium on the cultivation of GMOs has been determined…

Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the “nice airport of the West”, was to see the sunshine of day. As early as 1963, the State had raised the necessity to transfer Nantes airport linked to the financial and demographic progress of the territory. In 2000, thirty-seven years later, the Jospin authorities relaunched the challenge to construct this worldwide airport in agricultural and pure areas. In 2012, because the challenge entered its concrete part, opponents marched via the streets of Nantes and the demonstration degenerated. In Notre-Dame-des-Landes, life settles down and a ZAD, “zone to defend”, is born. On a number of events, the State tried to dismantle the ZAD with out success and the challenge for a brand new airport obtained slowed down on the bottom in addition to within the courts the place a number of hundred appeals have been filed. Lastly the abandonment of the challenge was introduced on January 17, 2018 by the President of the Republic.

In Paris, mid-January 2021, an illustration of assist for the Case of the Century.
Thomas Samson/AFP

Name for a nationwide local weather justice marketing campaign to attempt to forestall local weather change as sudden as it’s main and harmful to life on Earth? It grew to become doable in 2018, on the time of social networks and internet influencers. In only a few weeks, the “Deal of the Century” introduced collectively greater than two million individuals who signed the petition carried by 4 associations: Notre Affaire à Tous, the Basis for Nature and Man, Greenpeace France and Oxfam France.

“Justice for the Planet” was printed by Editions de l’Atelier in August 2022.

The associations depend on dozens of jurists and legal professionals to take the State to court docket for local weather inaction and some months later win their case earlier than the Council of State, which orders the federal government to do higher and extra by way of of combating international warming.

These 5 French examples of citizen struggles and litigation are emblematic. They would be the object […] of this atypical work which goals to inform the story of environmental regulation via the dedication of associations within the area and in courthouses. There isn’t a doable manner out in a democracy aside from the regulation. There isn’t a doable manner out in ecology aside from civic actions.

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