Mission and History
The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) helps communities speak out for clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet. We are a global alliance of attorneys, scientists, and other advocates collaborating across borders to build a sustainable, just future.
Public interest lawyers from 10 countries founded ELAW in 1989. These lawyers were working together at a public interest law conference at the University of Oregon School of Law. As they talked, they discovered that communities in their countries were facing similar environmental challenges. They realized that if they could share strategies and legal and scientific information across borders, they could protect communities and the environment more effectively. ELAW's founders agreed to collaborate, replicate successful strategies, and learn from each other's experience. They began their cross-border collaboration in the early days of e-mail. As the network of public interest lawyers grew, ELAW became a pioneer in wiring the grassroots. Today, more than 300 public interest advocates from 80 countries work together through the ELAW network.
The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) helps communities speak out for clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet. We are a global alliance of attorneys, scientists and other advocates collaborating across borders to promote grassroots efforts to build a sustainable, just future.
ELAW advocates, working in their home countries, know best how to protect the environment. By giving our partners the legal and scientific support they need, ELAW helps challenge environmental abuses and builds a worldwide corps of skilled, committed advocates working to protect ecosystems and communities for generations to come.