|2019 ELAW Annual Meeting participants.|
Grassroots defenders from 40 countries gathered in Eugene last week to collaborate across borders and help communities around the globe speak out for clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet.
"I watched with admiration as rooms full of environmental warriors spoke about trying to save the planet," says Fernando Ochoa, Executive Director, Defensa Ambiental del Noroeste.
"It was dramatic, humbling, and inspiring. I saw no sign whatsoever of giving up. To the contrary. I saw my friends more devoted, more eager, and braver than ever. In my mind, the world has a chance because we are here."
Emily Long, an attorney at the Environmental Defenders Office in New South Wales blogged:
"During the week in Oregon, it became apparent to me that EDO NSW is part of a global community of active, dedicated, culturally and linguistically diverse lawyers, scientists, communicators and volunteers. This community is working together, and in parallel, for a healthier planet, for sustainable livelihoods and to protect individuals and communities who are impacted by environmentally destructive activities. That there is strength in collaboration was visible in the lively discussions, in the search for synergies and exploration of pathways towards environmental justice."
|Fernando Ochoa takes a selfie with participants (and a snowbunny) from (clockwise) Canada, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, and India.|
Eugene experienced a snowpocalypse during the meeting, but that did not dissuade participants from high impact collaboration.
"When we gather, we learn that we are not alone," said Rugemeleza Nshala, Executive Director of the Lawyers Environmental Action Team, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. "We get energized. We are renewed and able to soldier on."
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