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hosted by the Africa Program of the
Environmental Law Institute


Building African Environmental Advocacy

Promoting Public Participation, Transparency, and Accountability in Environmental Decision-Making

For the past several years, ELI has been working to strengthen the ability of Africans to influence environmental laws and policy that affect them. This program has included creation of an advocacy handbook, development of nine case studies, and extensive training. This program has been funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, among others.

The Toolkit

A central part of this program has been the development, field testing, and distribution of the handbook “A Toolkit for Environmental Advocacy in Africa,” which is now available in final draft form. The Toolkit stresses a “bottom-up” approach to environmental decision-making by providing advocates at the local level with tools for making their voices heard on issues that affect them and their environment.

The Toolkit covers areas such as:

  • Developing a strategy
  • Collecting information
  • Building alliances
  • Participating in government decision-making processes
  • Distributing information
  • Working with the media
  • Bringing lawsuits
  • Using economic advocacy, such as strikes and boycotts
  • Organizing demonstrations, protests, and civil disobedience
  • Addressing the possible risks of advocacy

The Toolkit has been revised based upon comments received from many African advocates and is now in the final phase of editing. We invite advocates from all fields and countries to review this Toolkit. Comments, suggestions, and questions should be directed to Scott Schang at or 202-939-3865.

Case Studies

Nine case studies of the use of environmental advocacy in Africa have been compiled by several African advocates. Excerpts of these case studies are included in the draft Toolkit. The full text of the case studies are available for download below.


ELI has conducted several capacity building workshops in Africa. ELI also presented the draft Toolkit at a training session in Choma, Zambia.