Climate Justice & Climate Change Forum

Exploring the role of the judiciary in adjudicating environmental rights and the importance of capacity building for environmental adjudication.

May 16, 2024

The increasing impacts of the climate crisis in Southeast Asia disproportionately affect vulnerable communities, including low-income families and ethnic minorities. Recognizing the judiciary's critical position in securing climate justice, UNDP Thailand and the Judicial Training Institute organized the Climate Justice Forum on the 2024 Earth Day, contributing to raising awareness of the need to integrate climate considerations into judicial processes.


The forum, which drew 200 participants from the judiciary, featured active engagement from members of Parliament and representatives from Thailand Science Research and Innovation. The forum aimed to equip the judiciary with the necessary knowledge and resources to integrate climate impact considerations into their judicial decision-making, ensuring that environmental justice is upheld in Thai courts. 

Simone Boneschi, UNDP's Rule of Law and Human Rights Specialist, presented key insights from the Judicial Integrity Network in ASEAN questionnaire on environmental justice needs, focusing on the main areas of environmental litigation and the challenges in enhancing judges' capacities across ASEAN. Mr. Boneschi emphasized the importance of specialized training and education programs on climate justice to strengthen the judiciary's ability to handle environmental cases effectively. 

The meeting underscored the need for ongoing discussions and initiatives to promote judicial independence and accountability in environmental matters. These efforts are crucial for protecting vulnerable populations and ensuring that Thailand and other countries in the region can effectively address and mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

As we continue to experience the adverse effects of climate change, the collaboration between UNDP and the Judicial Training Institute marks a significant step towards empowering the judiciary to play a proactive role in climate justice, advocating for policies protecting the environment and the affected communities.