South Asia Conference on Environmental Justice | Asian Development Bank

South Asia Conference on Environmental Justice

Publication | October 2013
South Asia Conference on Environmental Justice

This publication documents the proceedings of the South Asia Conference on Environmental Justice, held last 24-25 March 2012 at Bhurban, Pakistan.

The conference brought together chief justices, senior members of the judiciary, and other legal stakeholders in South Asia, to highlight environmental challenges in the subregion, and devise ways to strengthen the implementation of environmental justice and ensure compliance with environmental laws.

The recommendations from the conference led to the adoption of a 14-point Bhurban Declaration establishing 'green benches' across Pakistan and calling for subregional collaboration for educated judiciaries, specialized courts, and cooperation to achieve environmental justice.

Bhurban Declaration 2012

Among other things, the Bhurban Declaration 2012 included a promise for an educated judiciary, specialized courts, and various other aspects of environmental justice, some of which are given below:

  • A promise of collaboration among participant judges and countries to improve the development, implementation, enforcement of, and compliance with environmental laws, as well as to make an action plan to achieve the same.
  • A declaration to strengthen the existing specialized environmental tribunals, as well as train judges and lawyers on environmental law.
  • A promise to encourage law schools to teach environmental law.
  • A resolve to hold an annual South Asia justices' conference on environmental issues to foster cooperation.
  • A vow to establish green benches in courts for dispensation of environmental justice and to make necessary amendments or adjustments to the legal and regulatory structures to foster environmental justice.
  • A statement to draft a memorandum of understanding amongst the South Asian judiciary to be sent to judiciaries of South Asia for the adoption of a South Asia convention on environmental justice.


  • Executive Summary
  • Inaugural Session
  • Plenary Session
  • Concurrent Thematic Session 1: Environmental Law and Policy
  • Concurrent Thematic Session 2: Environmental Adjudication
  • Concurrent Thematic Session 3: Environmental Education and Capacity Building
  • Closing Session
  • Appendix