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Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL)

Aim of the resource

The aim of the Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) is to assist the general public in voicing out their complaint on environmental issues. This new approach on environmental is used to enable the public, volunteers, private sectors and other stakeholders participate and make decisions regarding the protection of their environment, natural resources from pollution and ecosystem destruction.

Using the resource
Potential benefits from using the resource
EPIL has been quite effective in sending a message to polluters and local enterprises responsible for the ecological destruction.
EPIL has also been effective by allowing NGOs give voices to the voiceless public and putting pressure on non-compliant companies.
Potential limitations from using the resource
Despite the clear rules about who can bring cases, NGOs are still faced with obstacles in having their cases in local courts.
The most important obstacle faced by most organization in filing Environmental Public Interest cases is lack of financial resources.
Assessment of effectiveness of the tool or instrument
<p>EPIL has been quite effective in sending a message to polluters and local enterprises responsible for the ecological destruction. Significant damages have been compensated in many cases. For example, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) case filed in response to the Tengger Desert pollution which was settled by mediation with the 8 polluting firms agreeing to make public apologies and provide a fund of 6 millions Yuan (900,000 US. Dollars) to protect the environment. Another example is damages in the case of ACEF vs. Zhenhua Group –&nbsp;China’s first major public interest case on air pollution –&nbsp;amounted to more than 20 million yuan (approximately&nbsp;US$3.2 million), sending a clear message to polluters of the risks of non-compliance..</p>

<p>EPIL has also been effective by allowing NGOs give voices to the voiceless public and putting pressure on non-compliant companies. Several EPIL cases have now made their way into typical cases issued by Chinese courts as reference to judges.</p>
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available:
Other languages in which the resource is available:
Chinese (Simplified Han - China)
Contact details
Resources

Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) in China permits qualified environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to file litigation to protect the public interest in safeguarding the environment and natural resources from pollution and ecological destruction. EPIL is a non-profit activity which not only plays the relief role to harm which has already occurred in the environment but also plays a role in the prevention and avoidance of future harm or damage to the environment.

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