Common Information about Ecojuris Institute


Mail:  P. O. Box 399, Moscow 119313, Russia
Phone/Fax+7 (495) 938-7001
E-mail:  ecojurismail.ru
Web-site: http://ecojuris.da.ru

   Our staff – who is who at Ecojuris Institute

Ecojuris was created in 1991 as the first Russian (and USSR’s) non-governmental organization uniting public interest environmental lawyers. In 1996 our NGO was re-registered under the name of  Ecojuris Institute of Environmental Law.

MAIN AIMS OF THE ORGANIZATION

indroducing the concept of public interest environmental law in the Russian Federation;

defending citizens environmental rights and other constitutional human rights (access to information, public participation in decision-making, access to justice, etc.);

participation in establishing and strengthening rule-of-law and civil society in Russia.


MAIN ACTIVITIES

consultation with citizens and NGOs on environmental legislation and law enforcement;

litigation to protect citizens’ and NGOs’ environmental rights in courts, as well as petitions before administrative bodies for access to information and greater government transparency;

protection of indigenous subsistence rights;

ensuring public participation in environmental decision-making (including EIA);

participation in law-drafting;

analysis and publication of Russian legislation and enforcement practices;

publication and dissemination of citizens’ and NGOs guides on how to defend environmental rights;

support and coordination of the Network of Russian Public Interest Environmental Lawyers;

carrying out Annual Russian Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, as well as other conferences and workshops.


MAIN RESULTS OF THE ACTIVITIES

published a compendium of works about the Russian legislation in the sphere of environmental protection and natural resources (3 volumes in 7 books, 1993-1996);

published eight issues of the Public Interest Environmental Law Newsletter (1996-2002);

published two practical manuals for the citizens and NGOs “Defending Your Environmental Rights” and “Defending Your Environmental Rights in Court” (1997, 1999);

conducted several dozens of seminars and workshops on different environmental law issues for representative of NGOs and environmental agencies in various regions of Russia;

published more than 200 articles in regional, federal and foreign mass media;

created this web-site of Ecojuris Institute and the Network of Russian Public Interest Environmental Lawyers;

since 1994 has been conducted the Russian Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (the 8th Conference took part in the City of St. Petersburg in March, 2002);

organized training courses for regional environmental lawyers and representatives of indigenous peoples in Moscow and USA (1996-1999);

conducted legal analyses and participated in drafting of dozens of laws and regulations at the federal and regional levels, including the Wildlife and Ambient Air Protection Laws, the Law on Specially Protected Natural Areas, Federal Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment, among others;

in partnerships with foreign and Russian NGOs and independently, successfully fulfilled more than 20 projects on environmental human rights, indigenous rights, public participation in environmental decision-making, forest management, marine environment protection, specially protected natural areas, etc. (financed by the MacArthur Foundation, the Soros Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the US AID, the American Embassy in Russia, the Dutch government, the Moscow government, and other private foundations and government agencies);


initiated and won precedent environmental court cases at regional and federal levels, including nation-wide lawsuits at the Russian Supreme Court :

challenging the illegal governmental decree allowing drilling waste discharges to all the Russian Far Eastern seas (1999),

challenging illegal governmental decrees transforming the 1st group forest land into non-forest land for industrial and other purposes all over the country without EIA (1997-1998).


ECOJURIS INSTITUTE INCLUDES TWO CENTERS

At the ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CONSULTING CENTER our lawyers provide legal assistance for citizens and representatives of non-governmental organizations, discuss concrete issues on the application of the legislation in the sphere of nature protection.
The lawyers of the Center won a number of court cases to protect environmental rights of the citizens and NGOs in Moscow and in the Moscow region, prepared and sent to the state authorities a number of proposals on the improvement of legislation and law enforcement practice in the Moscow region.

At the CENTER of INDIGENOUS NATIONS’ ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS qualified lawyers provide consultations and carry out projects on the practical realization of the rights of the indigenous nations of the North, Siberia and the Far East to the traditional nature.
Ecojuris lawyers and experts conducted several seminars for the representatives of indigenous nations, for lawyers and activists defending their rights. The seminars took place in Siberia, the Far East and Moscow. They render legal support to the indigenous communities in the Khanty-Mancy Okrug in Western Siberia and the Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East and created regional consulting centers.

In February 1997 Ecojuris Institute created a NETWORK of RUSSIAN PUBLIC INTEREST ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYERS. At present it includes more than 40 individual lawyers and public interest environmental law NGOs from 30 provinces (the European part of Russia, the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East), the most of them conduct court cases to defend citizens’ rights to favorable environment, consult with citizens and NGOs, contribute to the dissemination of the eco-legal culture. Ecojuris Institute renders methodological and information support to the regional lawyers via e-mail, involves them into joint projects, organizes regular workshops, conferences and meetings.
In 2000 several lawyers from 6 other NIS countries joined us to form the Eurasian Public Interest Environmental Law Network.

Per a request of the Russian Commissioner on Human Rights, in 2001-2002 Ecojuris and the Russian Network (together with the Center of Russian Environmental Policy) collected, analyzed and pre-printed basic documents on violations of human environmental rights in Russia. Based on these materials the Commissioner prepared his official Special Report ECOLOGY AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS”, published it and presented before the Parliament (the State Duma) in November, 2002.


  

Ecojuris Institute as a public interest environmental law NGO is a part of Russian environmental and human rights movements, and it has links and partner contacts with environmental and human rights organizations of NIS, Europe, USA and other foreign countries.



Ecojuris President Vera Mischenko is a Goldman Environmental Prize recipient of Europe for the year of 2000 and a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow (2001).



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