The Science Behind Stopping Environmental Crime

Scientific evidence of environmental crimes has proven key to winning court victories for communities and ecosystems around the world. Last week, ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Meche Lu shared her expertise using scientific evidence to win some of these victories in the opening presentation at the 2020 Conference on Criminalistics, hosted by Guatemala’s School of Juridical and Social Sciences at the University Rafael Landívar.

“I spoke about Indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon affected by oil contaminated rivers who used water quality analysis to defend their rights to a healthy environment,” says Meche. She also shared lessons learned about scientific evidence being key to addressing a toxic mining waste dump in Chile, and to secure safe drinking water in Argentina for the community of Chacras de la Merced.

The presentation was broadcast live on Facebook. More than 6,500 people have viewed the recording.

Following the conference, Professor Enrique Cifuentes expressed his enormous gratitude for Meche’s participation in the conference, which was supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

“We need to help the public and authorities understand how to use scientific evidence in environmental cases” says Meche. “Participants were inspired to see how it is possible to use environmental science and available resources to enforce environmental laws and protect rights to a healthy environment.” For more information on ELAW’s work around the world, visit our website.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
& Fellows Program Coordinator