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Better governing the global commons: climate, biodiversity, oceans, outer space

Environmental Impunity Index Latin America

  • Center For the study of Security, Impunity and Justice, Universidad de las americas Puebla
  • South America
  • 2021
  • Scale-up project

Project overview

The Environmental Impunity Index (IGI Ambiental) presents a methodological proposal that, taking up ideas developed in the Global Impunity Index program, proposes a comparative measurement on the actions, capacities and operation of environmental policies among states in Mexico from four dimensions:
  1. Institutional capacity (structural);
  2. Environmental degradation (functional);
  3. Environmental crime (functional);
  4. Intergenerational strategy (structural).


"In Latin America, we have gotten used to impunity. Lack of constitutional capacity and political will to respect the rule of law deepens impunity, destroy natuure, and compromises the life of future generations."

- Azucena Cháidez, Partner, SIMO Consulting



Presentation of the organization

The Center on Impunity and Justice (CESIJ) is a think tank whose mission is to generate studies on the phenomenon of impunity at the global and national levels that allow the design of effective public policies in matters of justice, security, and human rights. The database laboratory performs quantitative analysis and disseminates knowledge to international agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector.

What is environmental impunity?

  1. The impossibility of investigating, prosecuting, punishing and repairing crimes and damages against the environment, whether a consequence of both the lack of institutional capacities and the political will of the authorities;
  2. The absence of application or fulfillment of environmental and climate policy objectives, due to the lack of institutional capacities or political will, as they affect the possibility of effectively protecting the environment and guaranteeing full enjoyment of the human right to a healthy environment, and;
  3. The lack of long-term or intergenerational public policy strategies and programs that reduce the risk of suffering harm or enjoying access to natural resources that the most vulnerable populations, future generations, and even other species may suffer.
Effectively protecting the environment and guaranteeing the enjoyment of a healthy environment requires the definition of policies and coordinated multilevel action between the three levels of government.

How it's calculated

Four dimensions to measure impunity:
  1. Institutional Capacity
  2. Environmental Crime
  3. Environmental Degradation
  4. Intergenerational Strategy
In order to avoid some dimensions having more statistical weight in the results due to a greater number of variables, each dimension has an identical weight of 25% in the total estimate of the index. The maximum possible value of the index is 4, which would correspond to 100%, and each dimension obtains a value equivalent to 1.

Stage 1 : Mexico



Stage 2 : Expansion to South America

The second stage of the Environmental Impunity Index project aims to develop a methodological approach allowing a robust comparison of environmental impunity levels in Latin American countries. As a starting point, the conceptual definitions, methodological criteria and variables selected used for measuring environmental impunity in Mexico will be taken into account.
  • Identify available indicators related to SDG´s and Escazú Agreement that can be applied to the Latin American Index anddevelop additional specific indicators for the capacity and crimedimensions;
  • Establish institutional alliances for data collection;
  • Depending on available data, define which countries to include inthe model and which will be analyzed as statistical impunity cases;
  • Search for funding options for this and the project next stages.

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