Environment is an all-encompassing term and there has never been a more appropriate time to consider environmental law than now. Globalization and technological innovations have changed the industrial composition typically from resource and agricultural based industries to heavy industries, high-tech manufacturing etc. which has precipitated a massive environmental change.
At the Earth Summit in 1992, we saw United Nations Conference on Environment and Development emphasize the significance of "Sustainable Development" describing it as "a dynamic program". With the passing of each day, the need to disseminate information and initiate a dialogue on Environmental law, its enforcement and the evolution of the concept of Sustainable Development, is increasing manifolds.
The Asia Pacific region will be pivotal in any dialogue since it has the potential to be either a significant positive or negative contributor to issues like climate change and water and air pollution. As Governments, business and civil society, individually and collectively grapple with appropriate responses to local, regional and international environmental issues, the legal profession will continue to be at the forefront of change.
The legal profession is primarily, responsible for developing the "Environmental Jurisprudence", which is one of the core areas in an effective environmental management in any country. Environmental Jurisprudence calls for capacity building of environmental judges and lawyers, a process that is beginning to take shape in the Asia-Pacific Rim.
The Environmental Committee will continue to examine current issues relevant to the practice of Environmental Law in the Asia Pacific Region through its seminar programmes, publications and collaborative work. It also provides the forum for networking opportunities; the exchange of ideas; and a source of advice and assistance in international, regional and national environmental issues for lawyers and counsel in this specialized field of legal practice.
The IPBA Annual Meeting and Conference is an excellent opportunity for Committee members to meet 'face to face' and get to know each other and to learn about topical issues in a variety of countries, as well as 'showcasing' the breadth and depth of talent and expertise we are fortunate to have available to us through our Committee members.
Each year the committee selects a theme which will best accommodate and differing stages of development of environmental laws within the member countries of IPBA.
Collaborative Publications and Work
Where possible, the Environmental Committee contributes articles to the IPBA Journal. Committee members also contribute to local publications. The Environmental Committee also welcomes the opportunity to act as the co-ordinator for and a source of contributors to collaborative education and training work.
Some time ago, the Committee called for suggestions and expressions of interest from Committee members for such projects and as a result, some tentative enquires have been undertaken to combine country skills for training workshops in international environmental law in Vietnam, Korea and Malaysia.
Committee members are encouraged to suggest projects and act as point persons for them in their respective countries. The Committee continues also to foster links with other national, regional and international environmental law associations to identify areas in which the Committee can best assist.
Join the Environmental Law Committee
The Environmental Law Committee is actively seeking to expand the number of officeholders as Vice-Chairs and the countries represented through them. Please contact the Committee Chair if you are interested in serving. To join the Environmental Law Committee, it is necessary to first join the IPBA and, in the Application Form, select the Environmental Law Committee as one of your Committee choices.
Details about IPBA Membership are available on this website.