For nearly two decades, the Environmental Law Institute has collaborated with Chinese universities, law firms, and businesses to advance Chinese environmental policies. ELI has held seminars and panel discussions, trained lawyers in environmental justice, and published articles and books on sustainability, environmental management, and constitutional environmental law, some of which have been translated into Mandarin Chinese.
Over the past ten years, ELI has been approached by Chinese officials and those with an interest and knowledge of Chinese environmental law and litigation requesting assistance with educating the judiciary on how to better handle environmental cases.
Mekong River Committee February 2008
ELI is working with the Mekong River Commission (MRC), to which China holds observer status,on transboundary environmental impact assessment (TbEIA). In February 2008, an ELI staff attorney participated in a USAID-MRC Seminar on “Creating a Better Understanding for Addressing Transboundary Impacts in the Lower Mekong Basin via Transboundary EIA" in Vientiane, Laos. As part of this seminar, ELI gave presentations on the topics Introduction to TbEIA: Basic Principles and Future Development and Applying TbEIA in Practice: Case Studies and Lessons Learned. ELI also prepared a theoretical case exercise on transboundary environmental impact assessment for use by the MRC members during the seminar.
As a follow-up to the workshop, ELI is currently reviewing the MRC'sdraft framework for transboundary environmental impact assessment, including an examination of international best practices in TbEIA. Based on this research, ELI will produce a comprehensive report that offers alternative language and specific recommendations for modifying the framework for consideration by the MRC working group.
ELI has also collaborated with the Coca-Cola Company in Beijing and researched renewable energy development in China.