You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Environment People Law (EPL)’ tag.

the law of energy for sustainable development

EPL’s symposium was held in honor of EPL founder Svitlana Kravchenko

ELAW partners at Environment-People-Law say clean, green, energy independence will protect Ukrainians and fragile resources while boosting national security.  Energy was featured at EPL’s international symposium in Lviv last month: “Human Rights and Environment in a New Ukraine.

Ukraine has been identified as one of the world’s most energy inefficient countries and relies on imports to meet its energy needs.

“We depend on natural gas, coal, and uranium, and import about 40% of our fuel to meet our needs,” says Olena Kravchenko, EPL Executive Director. “Moving beyond fossil fuels should help reduce conflict in eastern Ukraine and will help us build a more sustainable new Ukraine.”

ELAW Staff Attorney Jennifer Gleason gave a presentation at the symposium: “Energy Independence for Ukraine.”  Jen teaches energy law at the University of Oregon School of Law and has worked with ELAW partners around the world to advance green energy.  EPL has called on Jen to help craft a sustainable energy plan for Ukraine.

“I arrived in Ukraine from Germany where our partners at UfU had hosted the 2014 ELAW Annual Meeting,” says Jen.  “Sound policies have helped Germany surpass its goals for obtaining energy from sustainable sources. We are eager to help EPL draw on this experience. The key will be getting citizens to engage in improving energy efficiency. “

We will keep you informed of ELAW’s work answering EPL’s call for help to reduce Ukraine’s dependence on energy imports, while improving energy efficiency and promoting generation of electricity from sustainable sources.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
@keenanmaggie

Related news:
Status of Crimea’s Natural Reserves Uncertain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Status of Crimea’s Natural Reserves Uncertain

Eugene, OR, August 20, 2014 — Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide partners in Ukraine are concerned about the fate of protected natural areas in Crimea.  “The status of Charivna Havan National Park, Yalta Mountain Forest Reserve, Cape Martyan Reserve, and three other natural reserves are uncertain,” says Olena Kravchenko, Executive Director of Environment-People-Law, based in Lviv, Ukraine.

Olena explains:

EPL

“The situation is complicated.  These are lands owned by Ukraine, which has the right and obligation to protect them, but we keep receiving reports that rich Russians are turning parts of these parks and reserves into private estates.  However, there is no possibility to handle these territories properly at present because of Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.”

Olena and her staff at EPL have worked for years to protect the environment through law in Ukraine.  EPL was founded by the late Professor Svitlana Kravchenko, a world expert on human rights and the environment.  EPL has a staff of 13.

While worried about the situation in Crimea, EPL recently celebrated a court order returning to public use similar state-owned, protected lands near Kyiv that the country’s ex-President Viktor Yanukovych had closed off for his private hunting.

“This is one of the first decisions in Ukraine that returns illegally expropriated state property to the public,” says Olena.  “Recreation areas must be accessible by the public and not passed to private hands.”

For more information, contact:

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide
maggie[at]elaw.org
@keenanmaggie

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

I am currently in Eugene on an ELAW Fellowship and nearing the end of my term at the University of Oregon’s American English Institute (AEI). I am a lawyer and have worked at Environment-People-Law (EPL) in Ukraine since 2007.

Thanks to ELAW, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and AEI, I am able to study English while collaborating on my work with ELAW staff. At EPL we provide legal support to protect human rights and the environment. My work focuses on access to information, climate change, forests, waterways, biodiversity, and protected areas.

English proficiency is important to me. It allows me to collaborate on my work with ELAW and use legal and scientific resources that are not available in Ukrainian or Russian.

ua.2013.Nataliya.Horodetska and Heidi

Working with ELAW Staff Scientist Heidi Weiskel

One problem I am working on is the proposed construction of hundreds of small hydropower plants in the Carpathian Mountains. These projects would be dangerous for rivers, fish, and the forest, and violate the rights of local people. Here in Eugene, I have met weekly with ELAW staff and received their professional consultation on this problem.

My Intensive English Program at AEI is well organized and interesting. The teachers are highly qualified, including Peggy Dame, Lydia Shen, and Marko Mwipopo, who supervised my elective course.

American English Institute gathering

American English Institute gathering

Outside of class, AEI has weekly events to help students improve their English, including meeting with conversation partners, coffee hours, and volunteer work. My conversation partner is Brandon, a University of Oregon political science student who is thinking about law school and may one day volunteer at ELAW. While in Eugene, I’ve had the opportunity to do many things.

When I first arrived, I traveled with Professor John Bonine’s LLM students to Portland where we met with Columbia Riverkeeper, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and visited Smith Rock State Park. I later attended the graduation ceremony for these LLM students.

I have enjoyed attending Saturday Market and the Ukrainian Catholic Church. I toured Greenhill Humane Society, watched American football, and woke to raccoons playing in the trees outside my window.

In my last two weeks, in addition to my English studies and work with ELAW staff, I will visit local courts, learn more about recycling processes, and possibly travel to Seattle or Portland.

Thank you ELAW for hosting me, and to everyone who helped while I was here.

Nataliya Horodetska
ELAW Fellow

ELAW is co-sponsoring the “New Directions for Human Rights and the Environment” symposium this Friday and Saturday at the University of Oregon School of Law.

Dr. Svitlana Krevchenko

Dr. Svitlana Kravchenko

The symposium is dedicated to the late Dr. Kravchenko who was a pioneering lawyer from Ukraine. Svitlana founded the non-profit organization Environment-People-Law (EPL) and inspired young lawyers around the world to protect the environment and human rights.

The Symposium– which is free and open to the public — will feature keynote speeches by: Bill Rodgers, Stimson Bullitt Endowed Professor of Environmental Law at University of Washington; Antonio Benjamin, Justice, The High Court of Brazil, Professor, Catholic University of Brasilia, and chair, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law; Oliver Houck, Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law Program, Tulane University Law School; and Dr. Marc Pallemaerts, Professor of Law, University of Amsterdam and Head of the Environmental Governance Research Programme at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).

ELAW is proud to co-sponsor this event honoring our partner, Svitlana Kravchenko.

We hope to see you there!

Bern Johnson
Executive Director

I look up from my airplane seat.  The overhead monitor is all green.  Deep green.  Nothing of the brown landscape that I see when I fly across the United States.  Just green.

Only a few names appear on the video screen.  They are widely spaced from one another.  Manaus, Rio Branco, Macapa, Iquitos.  The names speak of a world as different from Oregon as anyone could imagine.

Dominating the screen, however, is one word that explains the unfamiliar names on the deep green background: Amazon.

The map shifts, zooms out.  Two other names appear.  Brasilia.  Rio de Janeiro.

The World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., chose Ekologia-Pravo-Liudina (Environment-People Law, or EPL) — to send a representative to Rio+20.  EPL is among many ELAW partners from various parts of the world who are at work here in Rio.

https://i2.wp.com/www.uncsd2012.org/content/logos/Color%20Horizontal/English.pngIs this upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development going to be a real “Earth Summit”?  108 heads of state or governments will be here.  The number of national delegations will be 172 — about 90% of the countries of the world.  So will large numbers of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to influence the negotiations or simply make public declarations of the urgency of changing the unsustainable path that the world is on.

But it seems that while this is a summit taking place ON the Earth, it is not clear how much it will be a summit FOR the Earth.  Negotiations among governments leading up to this massive diplomatic meeting seem to be bogged down.  The “citizen diplomats” from NGOs are lobbying various delegations to insert words into the diplomatic texts.  Maybe such words, if successful, can help nudge policy-makers back home to allow more access to information, more public participation, more access to justice in environmental matters — all key elements of environmental sustainability.

But after all is said and done, I suspect our most successful work will be where it always is — back home, fighting one battle at a time for environmental justice and rights.  That has always been the hallmark of ELAW — legal claims being put forward inside our national systems, with the intention of moving our own country further along the path to democracy and the protection of environmental rights. “One step at a time.”

John Bonine
ELAW Founder and Board Member
EPL President

Receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Join 136 other followers

Subscribe to ELAW e-news:

Receive breaking news in your inbox. Sign up now!

Donate to ELAW!

Find us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

%d bloggers like this: