Celebrating 30 Years of Environmental Advocacy in Indonesia

Dr. Mark Chernaik (center) with Indonesian law school professors at Climate Change Law Workshop.

Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands that present unique challenges for environmental defenders working in the world’s fourth most populous nation.

ELAW is pleased to have worked with grassroots leaders at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) since its inception 30 years ago to promote environmental justice in Indonesia through research-based advocacy, legal reform, and capacity building.

In late August, ELAW Science Program Director Dr. Mark Chernaik traveled to Jakarta to celebrate ICEL’s 30th anniversary and present at their Climate Change Law Workshop.

“ICEL is one of Southeast Asia’s oldest and most effective public interest environmental law NGOs,” says Dr. Chernaik. “They provide a backbone of support for strengthening, implementing, and enforcing Indonesia’s environmental laws.”

Last year, Dr. Chernaik worked with attorneys at ICEL and WALHI to win a stunning victory shelving a proposed coal-fired power plant that would have emitted more than 200 million metric tons of CO2 over its 30-year proposed life. Earlier, ELAW worked with ICEL to win a court victory banning single-use plastic in Bali, which is now being replicated across Indonesia.

ICEL’s 30th-year celebration brought together its founders, former executive directors, and many members of Indonesia’s public interest environmental law movement to honor decades of achievements and a promising future. ELAW board member John Bonine attended the celebration virtually.

Prior to the celebration, Dr. Chernaik and Professor Bonine led discussions at ICEL’s Climate Change Law Workshop, hosted by the University of Indonesia’s School of Law and bringing together Law Faculty Lecturers from across Indonesia. They shared recent successful climate change lawsuits in the U.S. and around the world, and how to use the best available science to hold the world’s oil, gas, and coal companies (carbon majors) accountable for climate damages.

Congratulations to ICEL for 30 years of victories for communities and the planet.

Bern Johnson
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide