The protection of the environment is conditioned by an effective application of the existing environmental law at the international, regional, national and local levels. The implementation of this law requires a complex legal process involving many actors: administrations and control bodies, economic actors, legal professions, scientific experts, environmental protection associations. However, the application of environmental law in the field is too often insufficient. How can this be identified and remedied? With the help of legal indicators.
The Normandy Chair for Peace concerning the rights of future generations, with the scientific support of the International Centre for Comparative Environmental Law (CIDCE), an international NGO and official partner of the United Nations, and the engineering and consulting firm of New Aquitaine, is carrying out operational research in order to provide regions, States and the United Nations with this new tool for evaluating public policy.
From March to June 2020 a group of fourteen experts, including five from Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Tunisia, met six times in video conferences to discuss the methodology to be used to test the legal indicators.
The test focuses on two examples in 2020: a national national protected area and the Sustainable Development Goal (or SDG 14) on aquatic life and oceans. The aim is to formulate appropriate indicators to assess the applicable law with reference to both international, regional and national law. The countries concerned by the test are Brazil, France (Normandy region), Portugal and Tunisia. A questionnaire will be sent in each country to the local or national actors usually in charge of applying the law related to these two examples.
A book on legal indicators is being published in French, English and Spanish.
In 2021, the program will continue on other themes of environmental law and the SDGs with the perspective of guaranteeing human rights and the rights of future generations. In particular, the legal indicators for the implementation of the Barcelona Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Protection of the Mediterranean and the Escazú Agreement on Access to Information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. The final objective of the program is to have the UN approve an ad hoc methodology of legal indicators applicable in particular to the SDGs related to the environment and the rights of future generations
 Brazil: Federal Ecological Reserve of Carijos in Florianopolis; France: National reserve of the Cerisy forest (Normandy); Portugal: Ramsar natural reserve and Natura 2000 Paul de Arzila; Tunisia: Ichkeul National Park.