​Breathe free: India ranks 24th in Environment Democracy Index

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Is India environmentally a developed nation? The first ever Environmental Democracy Index has the answer.

As per a Press Trust of India (PTI) news report, India has ranked 24th out of 70 countries in the index to understand the state of environmental democracy for countries around the world.

Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, the US, South Africa, the UK, Hungary, Bulgaria, Panama and Colombia are the top 10 nations in the list launched by Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) and Access Initiative yesterday.

"With a number of critical moments in environment and sustainability in 2015, advancing good governance and environmental rights are essential. This index is a powerful lever that will help governments to become more transparent and ordinary citizens to advocate for more rights," Mark Robinson, global director, Governance, WRI told the news agency.

According to the report, 93 per cent of the assessed countries have established the right to environmental information.

However, almost half of these countries (45 per cent) do not have strong protections to ensure that access to information is affordable and timely, it said.

The PTI report further says, nearly half (46 per cent) of the countries assessed do not provide any ambient air quality data online for their capital cities.

In 73 per cent of the countries, courts will hear environmental cases. But very few countries assessed have assistance for marginalized groups, the report said.

Only 14 per cent of the countries have legal mechanisms that help women access courts to obtain redress when their environmental rights are violated, the PTI report added.

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