Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide Programs
ELAW’s Rapid Response Program provides: Strategic support to develop cases and strengthen laws; Scientific equipment and training to monitor environmental conditions; Scientific assessment of environmental data to identify toxins and their source; Model laws and regulations, such as laws protecting water quality; Environmental and human rights records of multinational corporations; Expert scientific testimony; Critiques of environmental impact assessments; Help drafting court documents; Information about cleaner, more sustainable technologies
ELAW's Community Legal Education program helps inform decisionmakers and engage citizens to build a healthier future for communities and the planet. ELAW partners publish guides to citizen participation, train community "paralegals" to represent community interests, and empower citizens to play a role in decisions that impact their lives.
ELAW’s Capacity Building Program helps its partners gain skills and build strong organizations that will work to protect the environment for years to come. We have hosted more than 100 lawyers for ELAW Fellowships in Oregon, where they gain language skills, tap legal and scientific resources, and work closely with ELAW staff. By empowering our partners, ELAW achieves two key objectives: 1. We help win victories for the environment, and 2. We build lasting, local capacity to defend the global environment.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
ELAW worked with partners in Sri Lanka to win a big victory for children. In October 2011, Sri Lanka's Consumer Affairs Authority enacted new, stringent standards limiting the amount of lead in paint used in children's toys. Under the old standards, paint sold in Sri Lanka could have as much as 130,000 parts per million of lead-containing additives - that's more than 200 times the amount of lead allowed in U.S. paint! The new Sri Lankan standard matches the standards in the U.S., establishes a system for testing paints prior to sale to consumers, and includes safe standards for paint on toys and other children's accessories. ELAW helped make the case for protecting children from lead.
ELAW is seeking support for its work with partners around the world to promote clean, renewable energy. In Jamaica, for example, local advocates want Jamaica to adopt conservation and clean energy sources, rather than building a proposed coal-fired power plant. ELAW is helping its partners explain that building coal-fired power plants would be the worst choice for Jamaica, because such plants would harm air quality and public health, and stand in the way of tapping Jamaica’s abundant solar energy.