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Centre for Environmental Rights

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit company and law clinic based in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Centre was established in October 2009 by eight civil society organisations (CSOs) in South Africa’s environmental and environmental justice sector to provide legal and related support to environmental CSOs and communities. We opened our doors in April 2010.

The Centre’s vision is a South Africa where every person’s Constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to have the environment protected for future generations, is fully realised.

A non-profit organisation (registration number 2009/020736/08), our mission is to advance the realisation of environmental rights as guaranteed in the South African Constitution by providing support and legal representation to civil society organisations and communities who wish to protect their environmental rights, and by engaging in legal research, advocacy and litigation to achieve strategic change.

We believe in environmental governance that:

  • complies with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000, and the environmental management principles in the National Environmental Management Act, 1998;
  • is open and transparent;
  • is accountable to the citizens of South Africa;
  • promotes compliance with environmental laws and best practice; and
  • is based on meaningful citizen participation in environmental decision-making.

We subscribe to the following set of values:

  • passion for and courage in the work we do to advance environmental rights in South Africa and stronger civil society participation in environmental governance;
  • commitment to this work, and to our clients’ needs;
  • excellence in the quality of our work and in service to our clients;
  • being innovative and pioneering experts in the field of environmental law;
  • unquestionable integrity and strong ethics;
  • leadership in the workplace and in the field;
  • responsiveness to each other, our clients and partners;
  • being supportive, collaborative, inclusive and diverse;
  • accessibility to our clients and partners;
  • being reflective about our work and impacts.
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