Capacity Building

New! ELI’s John Pendergrass recently sat down with the folks at to talk about how ELI is making law work for people, places and the planet. Watch or listen here.

Since its inception, the Environmental Law Institute has convened environmental professionals for international environmental workshops and conferences around the world. The topics of these sessions span the array of current environmental issues and ideas, bringing ELI’s experience and cutting-edge knowledge to the corners of the world. Our workshops and conferences build capacity in NGOs, citizens, and government officials for environmental protection through training programs, and present innovative ideas and solutions to current environmental issues. 

ELI’s international educational efforts take many forms, from large scale conferences to interactive workshops to small group study tours. ELI has arranged study tours to educate professionals in specific aspects of environmental law in the United States. We have held study tours for environmental attorneys and activists from Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, South and Central America, India, and, most recently, Mexico.

Interactive workshops are an essential component of ELI’s educational activities. Recently, we have conducted trainings for community groups in Liberia, industry managers in India, government lawyers from Mexico, government and industry representatives from the mining and forestry sectors of Chile, and judges from Chile, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica.

Recently, the Institute has provided law-drafting assistance to lawyers, policymakers, and nongovernmental organizations in Armenia, Liberia, Eastern Caribbean States, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Rwanda. ELI has worked with regional and international NGOs to support these initiatives and provide the tools and information needed to implement them effectively. ELI has provided training for judges and prosecutors in Ukraine and Hungary, and hosted numerous Visiting Scholars from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union at our offices in Washington.

International Conferences, Workshops, and Study Tours

  • African Water Week — Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2010). ELI convened a parallel session focused on "Operationalizing AMCOW at the Sub-Regional Level: Institutional Strengthening and Linkages with Regional Economic Communities, River Basin Organizations and National Institutions" and a side event focused on "Strengthening US-Africa Partnerships in the Water Sector"
  • African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) Executive Committee (EXCO) and Ministerial Meetings — Cape Town, South Africa (2010)
  • Workshops for communities to access benefits provided under the National Forestry Reform Law of 2006 — Liberia (2009, 2010)
  • Two-day capacity-building training for field-based staff of Liberia's Forestry Development Authority — Gbarnga, Bong County (2008)
  • Advanced Workshop on International Environmental Law — Kampala, Uganda (2007)
  • Two-day capacity-building training for headquarters staff of Liberia's Forestry Development Authority — Monrovia, Liberia (2007)
  • Factory Managers Workshop on Compliance with Environmental, Health and Safety Laws — Ahmedabad, India and Bangalore, India (2011)
  • Workshop on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement with US Environmental Protection Agency and Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests — at Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), Hyderabad, India (2011)
  • Factory Managers Workshop on Compliance with Environmental, Health and Safety Laws with National Law School of India University — Bangalore, India (2009)
  • Factory Managers Workshop on Compliance with Environmental, Health and Safety Laws — Ahmedabad, India and Bangalore, India (2008)
  • Training for state prosecutors in the Amazon — Mato Grosso and Para, Brazil (2011)
  • "Climate Change: Legal and Policy Frameworks" for Mexican government attorneys — Washington, D.C. (2010)
  • Seminar on Mexican Environmental and Biodiversity Law for Judges — La Paz and Mexicali, Mexico (2009)
  • Pilot Judicial Training Course in Biodiversity Protection for Judges in Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic — Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (2009)
  • Second Workshop on Environment for Judges — Santiago, Chile (2009)
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Mining — Santiago, Chile (2008)
  • First Workshop on Environmental Issues for Judges — Santiago, Chile (2006)
  • Financial Assurance for Hardrock Mine Reclamation — Santiago, Chile (2006)
  • Sharing Experiences with Voluntary Environmental Management in the Forest Sector — Concepcion, Chile (2006)
  • Chilean Government Forestry Field Tour: Sharing Experiences of Voluntary Environmental Management in the Forestry Sector — Washington, DC and Wisconsin (2006)
  • Chilean Government Mining Delegation U.S. Field Tour — New Mexico, Montana, Utah (2006)
Past ELI International Capacity Building Conferences, Workshops, and Study Tours