A Message from
the President and
Edward L. Strohbehn Jr.
Chairman of the Board
We are pleased to highlight significant achievements of the Environmental Law Institute in 2012 in pursuit of its vision of a healthy environment, prosperous economies, and vibrant communities founded on the rule of law.
Presidential Election Environmental Issues
To address important environmental issues posed by the 2012 presidential election and build understanding, ELI held two debates for officials with diverse political views: one at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and the other at the New York City Bar Association.
International Environmental Initiatives
ELI redoubled its commitment to strengthen environmental law and governance throughout the world by working with partners in a broad range of international and national institutions. Our landmark post-conflict peacebuilding project involving the United Nations Environment Programme published Assessing and Restoring Natural Resources in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, the second book in a multi-book series.
At the Rio+20 UN Conference, we joined with international jurists to sponsor a conference, the Rio+20 Colloquium on Environmental Law and Justice, where ELI received a special award at the Supreme Court of Brazil for its years of support of Brazil and its NGO community.
Another important Rio + 20 UN Conference ELI achievement was ELI’s Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. The ELI team led a successful training course on post-conflict peacebuilding, addressing a broad range of significant issues and initiating new relationships important to advancing ELI’s mission. ELI also co-sponsored events at the Rio+20 Conference, including the World Meeting of Environmental Lawyers held at Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden Research Institute, the Rio + 20 Colloquium on Environmental Law and Justice held at the State Supreme Court of Rio de Janeiro, and the Energy Law for Sustainable Development, held at the Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law.
We expanded our programs in Mexico, working with government officials to assist them in developing programs to implement new environmental statutes, climate change reduction requirements, and environmental law training for members of its Supreme Court. In addition to the training program for Mexico’s Supreme Court staff, we carried out a range of training programs in environmental law and enforcement for judges, magistrates, and factory managers in India and Haiti. These included environmental and occupational safety and health compliance workshops in Bangalore, India, for factory managers, and a detailed training program in Jacmel, Haiti, on biodiversity conservation and environmental law for judges and magistrates. We also provided educational programs and assisted government officials, industry managers, scholars, environmental leaders, and citizens in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
We continue to emphasize the importance of environmental education to achieve a healthy environment. ELI hosted 80 seminars, courses, and special events for 5,100 environmental professionals in Washington and cities across the United States. One highlight in April was the special conference “Driving Innovation to Build Sustainable Cities” attended by senior representatives from corporations, nonprofits, and governments. In November, we held the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum: “Sustainable Cities: Harnessing Urbanization to Achieve Social and Environmental Goals.”
ELI expanded outreach efforts for the ELI Corporate Program, conducting site visits with 14 corporate members and prospective new members. In November, we convened a members-only meeting of corporate chief sustainability officers, environment, health, and safety vice presidents, and lead environmental counsel from over a dozen corporations to discuss cutting-edge private governance issues. The discussion addressed how private governance issues, including management standards, private benchmarking, certifications, green ranking, and supply chain monitoring and compliance, intersect with managing environmental sustainability and legal risks.
Freshwater and Ocean Program
ELI is playing a leading role in developing better legal systems to govern long-neglected ocean resources. Our Freshwater and Ocean Program promotes the sustainability of water resources and improved laws and policies that affect the ocean environment. We undertook a number of initiatives to improve management of complex ocean ecosystems, reduce pollution of coastal areas, and strengthen enforcement of fishery laws. And as part of ELI’s significant Gulf of Mexico activities, we published a detailed study on marine policy.
Finally, ELI’s Annual Award Dinner brought together more than 700 members of the environmental profession for a memorable evening. ELI honored the city of New York with the 2012 ELI Environmental Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the improvement of environmental law, policy, and management. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s leadership, the city has set an outstanding example for the smart cities of the future. ELI honored Mayor Bloomberg and the city of New York for bringing together business and environmental leaders and showing the way to a sustainable future for the world’s megacities.
We thank ELI’s many members, donors, volunteers, and friends for their indispensable contributions to ELI’s success. We thank our extraordinary staff for its remarkable achievements and our Board of Directors for their superb support.
|Edward L. Strohbehn Jr.
Chairman of the Board