Providing Resources


EDLC is frequently asked to advise communities, their lawyers, non-governmental organizations, and others concerning strategies, resources, and networking in environmental human rights matters. EDLC has provided such advice on matters arising in dozens of countries around the world, and EDLC staff members have been invited to every continent to speak on human rights and corporate accountability issues before legal groups, non-governmental organizations, and foundations.

Protecting the rights of environmental defenders

Environmental defenders are suffering direct violations of their fundamental civil and political human rights. EDLC’s resources provide a starting point for learning how to fight back against these human rights violations, and include information on:

Finding experts

Communities often need assistance from scientific and other experts, whether for litigation or for other purposes. EDLC has access to a number of expert networks, and has helped obtained expert assistance on numerous occasions. Experts are often willing to work on a pro bono or reduced fee basis, and EDLC is often able to fund their expenses.


Preparing legal briefs: local cases, international law

EDLC is frequently asked to assist local lawyers in cases brought before domestic courts. These cases typically involve violations of the human rights of community members resulting from harm to their environment. Domestic courts are usually required to consider international law in deciding these cases, and people affected by harm to their environment enjoy substantial protections under international human rights law. Yet local lawyers often lack the time or training to address these issues, and many judges have a limited understanding of the relevant international law they must consider.

As a result, EDLC frequently prepares and submits legal briefs in these cases, focusing on the key issues under international human rights law. This international approach also dovetails with the local lawyers’ focus on domestic law. EDLC has written briefs in cases that seek recognition of the land rights of indigenous peoples, tackle health and environmental harm caused by pollution from resource development projects, fight for the participatory rights of communities affected by mines and dams, and defend speech and protest critical of a wide variety of environmental harms.