Global problems need global solutions

r1 Environmental law crosses borders and cultures ... r19 FEBRUARY 2019 | Donate | Leave a Legacy FacebookTwitter YouTube Instagram DONATE Dear Paov,

This month, we’ve been thinking a lot about the environmental challenges we face as a planet, and how local decisions can have ripple effects across Canada and around the world.

Solving big problems like climate change and declining ocean health will require collaboration, and innovative legal solutions. Read about some of the ways we see environmental law working across borders and cultures to create a healthier future.
Respecting and Taking Care of our Ocean Relatives: The creation of the Heiltsuk Oceans Act The Heiltsuk people have thrived on the central coast of what is today British Columbia for over 14,000 years, and have worked hard to nurture their laws and governance system in the face of colonialism. In 2017, the Heiltsuk began working on a RELAW (Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water) project to develop an Oceans Act grounded in their own laws.

Check out this
inspiring new video and blog post to learn about the Heiltsuk RELAW team’s work to apply their
ğvi̓las (laws)
on the ground – and on the sea. Asking oil firms to help pay for climate change is good economics In January, the City of Victoria started examining options for a class-action lawsuit against global fossil fuel companies to pay for local climate costs. Some say this is hypocrisy – but we say it’s common sense .

And in another recent article, Senior Counsel Jessica Clogg and Staff Lawyer Andrew Gage describe how legal actions against fossil fuel companies around the world can help solve the climate crisis.
Time to stop blaming “foreign funded” environmentalists for the oil industry’s woes Divisive comments about environmental groups’ international funding have escalated recently, led primarily by proponents of the oil and gas industry.

Global issues like climate change and ocean health need global solutions, and attacks on our funding are nothing but a distraction. Jessica Clogg, our Executive Director & Senior Counsel,
explains why we think this scapegoating needs to end.
Environmental Rule of Law: Making sure our laws achieve their purpose Last month the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released its first-ever report assessing the effectiveness of environmental laws all over the world. There are more environmental laws in place now than ever before – but without proper enforcement, many of these laws are falling short.

Law Students Ally Neale and Benjy Katzeff
share some highlights from the UNEP report, and look at what countries can do to ensure environmental laws meet their goals.
Sea change: Four developments in international marine law The oceans are changing, here on the Pacific coast and worldwide. Now some of the international policies that govern the seas are changing, too

Staff Lawyer Stephanie Hewson
outlines four new developments in international marine law that will help guide policy-making in Canada and other coastal nations in the years ahead.
Blue carbon: How the coast can help us mitigate and adapt to climate change West Coast has teamed up with SFU researcher Maija Gailis to find out more about “blue carbon” – the carbon stored in marine and coastal ecosystems. With proper care, these ecosystems can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they can also make nearby communities more resilient in a changing climate.

Read more about this exciting research and its potential policy implications in this post by Maija and Staff Lawyer Deborah Carlson.
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The Legal E-Brief is a publication of West Coast Environmental Law Association

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