Governance and sustainability

Strong action and governments united in favour of sustainable development

We support the improvement and strengthening of environmental governance.

This work is carried out through the study of the legal-institutional regime for environmental protection at the international, European and national levels, as well as aspects linked to transparency, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters.

Among the milestones achieved by IIDMA in this area are the UN Committee on the the Rights of the Child drawing attention, in 2018, to the Spanish government due to its energy policy and its impact on the Rights of the Child as a result of a report submitted by IIDMA and CIEL.

Likewise, in 2020, and in response to a communication submitted by IIDMA, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee declared the failure of Spain and the European Union to comply with their duty to facilitate public participation in the review of environmental permits.

Our main lines of action include:

Main Projects

1998 – In the framework of the Earth Council (Costa Rica) Project ‘Creating an International Environmental Ombudsperson’, IIDMA carried out the study “Local Communities and Fishing Disputes in Saharan and Moroccan Waters: Opportunities for New Dispute Resolution Mechanisms” focusing on fisheries relations between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco.

2001-2002. Technical assistance to the Generalitat de Catalunya throughout 2001 and 2002 for the preparatory process of the World Summit for Sustainable Development.


2002 – Assisted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the organisation and development of an initiative on Human Rights and the Environment.

2004-2014. This project was awarded to the Milieu Ltd- IIDMA consortium, and consisted of a detailed analysis of the measures adopted by the Kingdom of Spain to transpose eighteen EU directives in different environmental sectors: EIA, air quality, water, hazardous substances, biotechnology and waste.

2005 – This project, funded by the British Council and the SCH Foundation, consisted on the preparation of a paper on governance for sustainable development and the organisation of a workshop and a conference on 19-20 January 2005 to exchange experiences on the sustainable development implications of the White Paper on European Governance and the European Constitution.

2005 – Members of the IIDMA team participated in a World Bank funded project, advising the General Water Directorate of the Republic of Serbia and the Water Executive Office of the Republic of Montenegro in the elaboration of their respective Water Laws.

2005 – This project, awarded by the Biodiversity Foundation to IIDMA, focused on the preparation of a study and a practical guide providing information on the legal mechanisms available to citizens. Information focused on tools to prevent damage to the environment, such as public participation mechanisms offered by our legal system and EU and international institutions, and to bring to the attention of the relevant authorities the facts that cause environmental damage. The guide was distributed to 1,500 workers in SMEs and the self-employed throughout Spain.

2017/2020 – The LIFE-A2J-EARL project aimed to promote the correct implementation and enforcement of EU environmental law through effective access to justice in environmental matters by the public by enabling the review of acts or omissions by a public authority that undermine environmental law. Access to justice is a fundamental means by which citizens and NGOs can support the enforcement and implementation of laws and policies to protect the environment.

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We research and promote the implementation of law as a tool to achieve sustainable development.

Other areas of expertise

Our objective is to contribute to sustainable development and the protection of the planet, through the analysis, implementation and enforcement of the law.

We work on the implementation and development of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, and promote EU policy instruments adopted to meet international climate change commitments.

We promote a structural change in energy systems, focusing our work on the decarbonisation of different sectors.


We contribute to improving the quality and use of water resources by promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of law and programmes aimed towards water protection.


We contribute to the development and implementation of international Conventions and the main EU Directives in this field.

Help us to continue defending the future of our planet