Today ICO “Environment-People-Law” (EPL) is a powerful driving force that uses legal methods to protect global environment and environmental rights of citizens in Ukraine and worldwide. We are creating changes in the Ukrainian judicial and legal systems and the environmental protection organizations of global scale trust us.
At the beginning we were only three lawyers, who were not indifferent to the theme of environmental protection. In 1994, the noble idea and enthusiasm of the founders, headed by Svitlana Kravchenko pushed them to create the foundation “Ecopravo- Lviv”. Starting to work in the field of environmental law they came to understanding of the imperfectness of Ukrainian legal system in this sector, so they started to work actively to its development.
The first steps of the foundation were supported only by enthusiasm and faith in their own forces, backed by high legal skills of our small team. Now we cooperate with the world’s largest organizations: UN, IUCN, E-LAW, where our opinion is respected.
It all began with the small projects, search for like-minded people and making international connections with tne organizations that already have experience in this area. Today we pass on the experience. Over 22 years of activity we were able to implement,as it seemed, very ambitious ideas and continue to go boldly into the future, developing the Ukrainian legal sector. This allows us to effectively fight against poaching, illegal deforestation, irresponsible activities of industrial facilities and protect the environmental rights of everyone. We actively cooperate with the community, advise and protect citizens in the court.
During theirs work in the EPL members of the organization attended 795 conferences and seminars, and organized more than 80 national and international conferences, seminars and symposia. We worked on 590 cases provided 4023 consultations, made 102 comments on laws, and these numbers are increasing daily.
The official EPL composition is a dozen of environmentalists, lawyers and linguists. They are receiving large and small victories on a daily base that show that our work brings results and really helps to improve our lives.
The key events in the history of EPL are:
• The signing of the Aarhus Convention, which provides public access to information and justice and realizes the possibility of every citizen to participate in matters concerning environmental protection.
• Establishment of Ukraine’s first legal clinic environmental law training for practitioners.
• Assigning Goldman Environmental Prize to our representative for our strategic case of “Danube – Black Sea”.
• Establishment of the first environmental legal journal “Environment. People. Law “.
• Winning of the first environmental lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights.
• Opening environmental clinic for the students environmentalists.
• Development of courses for judges on protection of environmental rights.
• Create on-line environmental legal library.
• Co-authoring of the draft of Law of Ukraine “On Environmental Impact Assessment”.
• The development of on-line course on international environmental law.
In the nearest future we plan to create ecological and legal center, which will become a major focus for collaboration between environmentalists, lawyers and the public.
We are open to cooperation and we hear all the opinions, that’s why in our magazine
“Environment. People. Law” publications of the professors and students can be seen.
Our priority, as we see it – is the environmental awareness of Ukrainians. If we do not take care and do not protect what we have today, our grandchildren will not be able to enjoy the beauty of the environment tomorrow. Therefore, we are spreading the word about the importance of environmental issues not only among civilians but also to government officials, legislators and judges.