[JURIST] The Indonesian Central Jakarta District Court rejected a lawsuit brought by Acehnese community leaders to protect the valuable Leuser tropical forest from exploitation by mining companies. The court rejected the case because it found that the Aceh province’s bylaw permitting this type of land use caused no material losses [WP report] to the plaintiffs, even though the bylaw does conflict with the forest’s protection under national law. Conservation groups such as Haka [advocacy website] say the forest is home two four endangered species of orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers.
Environmental issues have been controversial for many years. In November a judge for the US District Court for the District of Oregon [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a lawsuit against the US federal government over failure to limit the emission of greenhouse gasses can proceed. Also this month the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] affirmed [JURIST report] a lower court ruling that a class action lawsuit regarding the Flint, Michigan, water crisis should be decided in state court. In August the Navajo Nation filed suit [JURIST report] against the EPA alleging that water flowing from the punctured Gold King Mine in Colorado was toxic and “damaged the Nation’s environment, people, and economy.”