Over 1 million species are facing the threat of extinction due to human activities. We collaborate with lawyers working on community-led efforts to challenge unsustainable development projects that threaten wildlife and ecosystems, and strengthen and enforce laws to provide better protection.

Power Barges Threaten Dominican Communities and Wildlife Reserve

ELAW partner Euren Cuevas at INSAPROMA filed criminal and civil lawsuits to hold Karpowership Dominican SAS accountable for its polluting operations in the Puerto Viejo Mangrove Wildlife Preserve. 

Ecuador: Defending the Intag Valley from Mining Abuses

Communities in Ecuador’s Intag Valley recently secured a court order canceling a license to mine copper in one of the world’s most biodiverse forests!

ELAW Advocate Spring 2023: Wild Places, Communities, & Wildlife

Wild Places, Communities, & Wildlife

In the Maldives, Congo, Guinea, and Nepal, advocates are working to protect forests, watersheds, coral reefs, and much more.


The damage that humans are doing to the global climate may be one of the gravest injustices of all time. Many communities that will suffer the most severe impacts of the climate crisis have contributed the least to the damage. Citizens and organizations are turning to the courts to protect the rights of those impacted by the changing climate and implement adaptation measures; require governments to take bolder action to stop harmful emissions; evaluate climate impacts before approving projects; hold governments to their national and international climate commitments;  and more.

ELAW Advocate Winter 2023: Protecting the Climate

Protecting the Climate

ELAW partners around the world are working to ensure that communities that suffer the worst impacts from damaging the climate have a voice at the table and the tools they need to win victories for a healthy planet.

Open-Pit Coal Mine Suspended in Colombia

The environmental license for an open-pit coal mine covering 1,949 hectares in San Vicente and El Carmen de Chucurí, Santander, was suspended.

ELAW Shares Climate Litigation Strategies

ELAW Shares Climate Litigation Strategies

The damage that humans are doing to the global climate may be one of the gravest injustices of all time. Some people are profiting enormously from damaging the climate, while others are bearing the costs.

Defending Defenders

Our lawyer colleagues and their community partners are under increasing attack for defending human rights and the environment. We help improve our partners’ security and respond when they are threatened so they can continue their critical work ensuring communities have a voice at the table and the tools they need to defend their rights and protect ecosystems.

Defending Climate Defenders

Our lawyer colleagues and their community partners are under increasing attack for defending and advancing the human right to a healthy environment. Public interest lawyers are fighting back against these attempts to stifle local efforts to protect the climate.

Recent ELAW Fellow Oliver Ndoole Named "Human Rights Defender at Risk"

Recent ELAW Fellow Olivier Ndoole Named “Human Rights Defender at Risk”

The Award was established in 2005 to honor the work of defenders who courageously promote and protect the human rights of others, often at significant personal risk.

ELAW Helps Launch coalition to defend land, indigenous, and environmental defenders

ELAW Helps Launch Coalition to Defend Land, Indigenous, and Environmental Defenders

In response to the increasing frequency and severity of attacks on our partners, ELAW is building skills in our network and fighting back, case by case and country by country.

Fossil Fuels

Around the world, grassroots advocates are stepping forward to challenge short-sighted plans for coal, oil, and gas development. They challenge permits for coal mines, power plants, and infrastructure; fight pipelines and oil exploration both onshore and offshore; and enforce clean air and water laws to help communities chart a sustainable energy future.

Analysis of Offshore Oil Plans in Senegal’s Saloum Delta

Dr. Fatima Diallo and her organization, CRADESC are supporting communities that will be directly impacted if planned oil exploration moves forward off Senegal’s Southwest Coast. The Saloum Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest Ramsar wetlands in West Africa, with over 200 islands and islets.

Uganda partners win right livelihood award for word tied to EACOP

Uganda Partners Win Right Livelihood Award for Work Tied to EACOP

Right Livelihood says that Africa Institute for Energy Governance “has been at the forefront of efforts to stop the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which would transport Uganda’s crude oil to a port in Tanzania. The planned 1,400-kilometre pipeline would cut through hundreds of Ugandan and Tanzanian villages, causing mass displacement, environmental harm and further exacerbating the climate crisis.”

Indonesian coal plant defeated

Indonesian Coal Plant Defeated

ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Mark Chernaik provided Indonesian partners with an expert statement on the likely climate impacts of the proposed plant. His findings showed that over its 30-year proposed life, the coal plant would emit more than 200 million metric tons of CO2 at substantial economic and human cost.

Marine & Coastal

The ocean provides food, medicine, energy, jobs, and recreation, and is one of the main repositories of the world’s biodiversity. We need a healthy ocean to stabilize the climate and avoid catastrophic climate damage, but the ocean is threatened by coastal development, pollution, overfishing, unsustainable aquaculture, mining, oil drilling, and more. Learn more about our work with partners around the world to protect marine ecosystems for future generations!

ELAW advocate Autumn 2021: protecting our ocean

Protecting Our Ocean

ELAW is working with grassroots advocates and coastal communities around the world to protect ocean ecosystems for future generations. Read more about our work in Ecuador, Colombia, Spain, the Philippines, and Egypt.

Maldives massive port threatens coral reefs

Maldives: Massive Port Threatens Coral Reefs

The Government of the Maldives proposes to dredge 24.5 million cubic meters of sand from the North Malé Atoll to reclaim Gulhifalhu Lagoon, to create new land for a massive commercial port.

Protection for Spain's Mar Menor

Protection for Spain’s Mar Menor

One of Europe’s largest and most endangered saltwater lagoons – the Mar Menor – was recently granted special protection by Spain’s senate.


Adopting laws to reduce plastic pollution is widely recognized as a vital step to rein in the damage plastic pollution is doing to our communities, health, and environment. Over 40% of the plastic produced globally is used only once and then discarded. We are working with local advocates to adopt and strengthen legislation at all stages of the plastic life cycle from production to disposal to address this crisis.
For specific case information, please visit Plastic Law Resources for Advocates.

New Resource to Tackle Plastic Pollution Globally

The Global Plastic Laws database will be the most comprehensive tool to date to research plastic legislation that has been adopted around the world. 

Challenging single-use plastic in the Philippines, Canada, and across Africa

Challenging Single-Use Plastic in the Philippines, Canada, and across Africa

ELAW is working with partners across the globe to promote and enforce laws that reduce dependence on single-use plastic products and packaging and encourage a return to sustainable practices such as refillable containers.

Mounting plastic crisis in Africa - sharing lessons across the continent to avert disaster

Mounting Plastic Crisis in Africa – Sharing Lessons Across the Continent to Avert Disaster

ELAW hosted a series of six webinars to help African advocates gain skills and build a strong corps of lawyers to challenge plastic for years to come. The series was a great success, with 60 advocates from 15 countries joining.

Join the movement supporting community-based solutions

Grassroots advocates in more than 80 countries are calling on ELAW for support defending communities and ecosystems. Your gift helps us keep lawyers safe and collaborate closely with them to provide the legal and scientific support they need to win lasting victories.