Constitutional law has been utilized in many countries to promote the protection of environmental rights, with varying degrees of success. This essay offers gold mining in Argentina as a case study for examination of the tensions that exist between economic interests and the need to protect the environment, notwithstanding the provisions made for environmental rights within the National Constitution. Due to the significance of the country’s glacier region, the Argentine public has resisted mining developments that threaten this natural resource by taking a multipronged approach. Community protests and blockades have been held, complaints to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) have been filed by environmental
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), concerted pressure by environmentalists and scientists has led to the passing of glacier protection laws, and judicial action has upheld the legislation in court. At the heart of it all, however, lies the basic constitutional right to a healthy and sustainable environment, which may provide an essential legal foundation that allows legislators and judicial actors alike to give serious weight to environmental considerations in making important policy decisions and rendering court judgments.