The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law works collaboratively with government institutions, non-government organizations, lawyers, judges, lawmakers and others to promote good environmental governance in Asia. As the most rapidly developing region on the planet, many countries in Asia are in urgent need of leaders to implement and enforce environmental laws and regulations, as well as policymakers and educators to develop the next generation of environmental advocates.
The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law was originally founded in 2006 under the name U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law. At its inception, the program was focused on furthering the work of governmental and private organizations within China that address critical environmental and energy challenges; improve policy, laws and regulations; and develop sustainable best practices in environmental protection and energy regulation. Although much progress with regards to environmental protection has occurred since that time, many enormous challenges remain. We therefore continue to work with our partners in China to enhance public participation in environmental decision-making and educate various stakeholders through advocacy, policy reform, research, capacity building, and student opportunities.
Over the years it became apparent that the environmental challenges faced by China were concurrent and inter-related throughout the region, and so we have expanded the geographic focus of our programs to include more countries within Asia. In 2013 we initiated our Myanmar Environmental Governance Program, which essentially aims to build on the successful model we developed in China and apply it in Myanmar. More recently, the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law embarked on a project working with government entities, NGO's and environmental lawyers from both China and countries in the lower Mekong Sub-region (Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam) to explore ways to sustainably manage the environmental and social impacts of rapidly increasing Chinese overseas investment in the region.
Environmental issues in Asia remain immense, but we look forward to continuing to work with our partners to confront the challenges that lie ahead.