The Environmental Mission Scholars Program in China aims to strengthen environmental governance and rule of law in China. We work to increase the capacity of environmental practitioners to effectively engage in environmental legal practices, mainly through utilizing China’s recently enacted provisions on environmental public interest litigation, the eco-environmental damages compensation system, and other public participation tools.
In order to achieve this goal, The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law at Vermont Law School works with Wuhan University, Duke Kunshan University, and Friends of Nature in China. The partners seek to foster the next generation of environmental scholars and practitioners by providing select candidates the opportunity to undergo an intensive knowledge, skills, and experiential-based training program focused on harnessing the power of the law, good science and ecological practice to promote environmental protection. The program includes a one month intensive course of study; a 16–18 month legal fellowship working for an environmental NGO or environmental research institute; a mentorship program to support the legal fellowship and to bolster their professional development; and sets of ongoing interactive online courses designed to sharpen the environmental mission scholars’ skills.
The environmental mission scholars also have opportunities to participate in a series of networking/support workshops with scholars and practitioners from around China to learn about their experiences, the challenges they face and strategies they have developed to effectively participate in environmental governance processes through the utilization of public interest litigation.
The Environmental Mission Scholars Program recruits junior lawyers or recent law graduates with demonstrated passion for and commitment to environmental causes and who show potential to become environmental legal advocates and stewards.
Mission Scholar Bios
Undergraduate and/or graduate school: Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai, the most beautiful valley university in China. My undergraduate major is Cultural Industry Management and Philanthropy.
Hometown: Fuzhou, Fujian, China. People call it the blessed state, with beautiful mountains and waters in the southeast of China.
Professional Mission: The combination of knowledge and practice makes great efforts for the development of environmental protection.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? Vermont Law School is one of the most prestigious environmental law schools in the world, and I want to be a part of the environmental legal profession, to contribute to the environmental protection of the country.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? I have been working for more than 2 years in Green Homeland, Fujian Province. I am the head of the department of environmental law and affairs, responsible for environmental public interest litigation and environmental research.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? I used to be a communicator of environmental organizations, running in the forefront of environmental work, doing environmental reports and planning environmental public interest activities.
What are your career goals? I hope to have the sensitivity of environmental laws; correctly understand the solutions to environmental problems; protect my hometown; become a professional environmental guardian; and help others with my professionalism.
Undergraduate and/or graduate school: Henan University Law (Bachelor’s degree)
Hometown: Yunnan Province, China
Professional Mission: Promote the legal protection of biodiversity in China through environmental public interest litigation and policy advocacy.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? In the practice of environmental civil public interest litigation to protect biodiversity, I found that ecological problems cannot be solved in its entirety, so I’m more than eager to acquire professional knowledge in ecology, environmental sciences, and sociology, and gain more understanding about the methodology applied overseas, to help solve the environmental problems existing in China.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? I work in a Chinese NGO named Friends of Nature; my responsibility is protecting the environment by environmental civil public interest litigation.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? In the past year, I worked on protecting China's deepest water storage type freshwater lakes (Fuxian Lake wetland); protecting the green peacock’s last and the largest habitat in China; protecting the tropical rain forest in Xishuang Banna and the middle and lower reaches of the Lancang river’s fish migratory channels. In the work of protecting biological diversity through environmental civil public interest litigation, I followed scientists to do field research, accumulate background information on biological diversity and use it as litigation evidence. Meanwhile, I also promoted policy advocacy, such as the demarcation of ecological red lines in Yunnan province.
What are your career goals? Improving Chinese legislation and judiciary on biodiversity conservation and combined with power of governments,citizens and professionals to promote biodiversity conservation effectively.
Graduate school: Tianjin University of Financial and Economic
Hometown: Hainan, China
Professional mission: To learn environmental law and be an environmental attorney to promote a harmonious and friendly community.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? I chose become an Environmental Mission Scholar because I have a desire to use the power of the law to help people and change the environment. Here, I can be part of Chinese environmental practice.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? My hosting institution is Friends of Nature, a local NGO in China. I spend my time learning from and working with Chinese social organizations, academia, and practitioners on various environmental issues. I am mainly responsible for legal project management and following the cases of environment public interest litigation. My experience working with FON helped steer my legal career toward environmental law and advocacy.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? My involvement with the Green Camp of China, which is an environmental society for college students, planted the seed for my environmental interests. In an eco-phenomenological sense, I loved being in the environment of natural education. From a scientific perspective, the Green Camp gave me an opportunity to learn about environmental conservation, environmental science, and world conservation. I want to continue learning about environmental law as a law studies undergraduate student.
What are your career goals? I hope to work as an environmental attorney for a firm or NGO.
Undergraduate and/or graduate school: Research Institute of Environmental Law, Wuhan University
Hometown: Wuhan, Hubei Province, China
Professional Mission: My mission is to solve the air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution problems in China by using environment public interest litigation.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? As a mission scholar, I can gain more knowledge of good cases both in China and America, and also have more opportunities to cooperate with more NGO partners, the community, and professors.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? I am working in Friends of Nature now, which is a local NGO in China, as an environment public interest lawyer. My work mainly includes suing polluters and providing legal training for other NGOs or environmental protection volunteers.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? Before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar, I studied environmental protection law at Wuhan University for three years, then came to Friends of Nature as a public interest lawyer.
What are your career goals? I want to be an experienced NGO lawyer in the future, especially in the environmental protection area. In China, more and more lawyers can give professional suggestions about an environmental case, but they don’t know much information about the target or strategy of the case, so NGOs need their own lawyer to help make the best choices.
Graduate school: I graduated from Peking University School of Transnational Law in June 2018 with a JD degree and JM degree.
Hometown: Shandong, China
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? Being an Environmental Mission Scholar can allow me to be engaged in international environmental issues, to have an idea of the academic career and master the necessary research skills, and to contribute to environmental protection.
What is your hosting institution and what is your responsibility? I am at Duke Kunshan University, where my current research projects include legal solutions for balancing livestock grazing and pandas at panda habitats; measuring the general deterrence of environmental public interest litigation; public participation in environmental governance in China; international law issues implicated in the salmon fishery at China-Russia border; and tackling timber trafficking from the legal perspective.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? While interning with the US-China Business Council in Bejing, I helped with advising U.S. companies on environmental issues to offer guidance on how to abide by and predict China’s environmental laws and policies.
What are your career goals? My career goal is to affect public policymaking on social issues in China or voicing my personal opinions on international relation, in order to make a change to the society.
Graduate school: Ocean University of China, Masters in Environmental Law. Vermont Law School, LLM in Environmental Law.
Hometown: Inner Mongolia, China
Professional Mission: As a lawyer, I have practiced law for five years. My mission at Vermont Law is to learn how environmental policy works in American and make a comparative study especially on the energy sector. I hope that incorporating the China factor into international environmental and energy policy studies will have profound significance both on the domestic and international level.
What environmental experience did you have before coming to Vermont Law School? Prior to law school, I majored in law as an undergraduate, and later obtained a Master’s degree in Environmental law from Ocean University in China. After that I practiced law in Beijing Yingke (Kunming) Law Firm as a commercial lawyer for five years. I have worked as an attorney in many environmental civil and criminal cases. I was also a consultant for Yunnan Environmental Planning Institute, and co-drafted the "Implementation Regulations of Yunnan Province for Environmental Protection." During this time, I volunteered for several Chinese and International Environmental NGOs and worked as a staff lawyer at the Legal Clinic of Southwest Forestry University.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? Wuhan University, which is one of the most cutting-edge environmental law research bases in China. I am helping to build connections between the clinic and experienced lawyers as well as NGOs to guide students to combine theory and practice and to engage in problem-solving research.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? Legal practice is crucial for environmental studies. The Environmental Mission Scholar program is a really great opportunity to be involved in practical environmental cases and learn from experienced environmental lawyers, scholars, and environmental protection organizations.
What are your career goals? I aspire to become an environmental lawyer with an international perspective, focusing on energy law and policy.
Undergraduate and/or graduate school: I graduated from Shandong Sports University. This university is based on sports majors. My major is sports English. I love my university because I love fitness and dance. In school, besides learning English, I can participate in many activities related to fitness and dance. I am very happy!
Hometown: My hometown is located in Xiangyang City, Hubei Province, China. It is an ancient and beautiful city. Xiangyang City has Hanjiang River, a national first-class water source. Xiangyang beef noodles are also a must, very delicious. Living here, the mountains and rivers are beautiful, very comfortable. Xiangyang City has appeared in the works of famous martial arts novelist Jin Yong many times and is a historical city.
Professional Mission: In China, I am a lawyer and I am also trying to participate in the creation of a legal environmental organization as the Director General. I hope to make some contributions in the field of environmental law.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? First of all, the environmental law work I am engaged with is consistent with the nature of Environmental Mission Scholar. Secondly, I am participating in the establishment of environmental protection organizations and participating in various environmental protection activities, which is an Environmental Mission Scholar.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? My current hosting institution is the Environmental Law Clinic of the Institute of Environmental Law of Wuhan University. My job is to organize and lead students to participate in environmental law practice activities, including attending seminars, participating in environmental law cases, and participating in field research.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? I have practiced in China’s environmental NGO, Friends of Nature. I have been involved in the project management of the environmental NGO Xiangyang Green Home, and participated in environmental protection missions and field research.
What are your career goals? Do something for the environmental good.
Undergraduate and/or graduate school: Yango University, BA, Science of Law. Fuzhou University, MA, Environmental Law.
Hometown: Zhejiang Province, China, a coastal city with mountains at the back, diligent people all around.
Professional Mission: Environmental Attorney and Environmental Advocate.
Why do you want to be an Environmental Mission Scholar? I can make a bigger difference by being an Environmental Mission Scholar and advocate. I have a great connection with NGOs and scholars from different institutions since I became an Environmental Mission Scholar this year. I have found my passion in doing my current services.
What is your hosting institution now and what is your responsibility? My hosting institution is Duke Kunshan University. My responsibilities include research on environmental public interest litigation and latest developments in China; providing legal support to NGOs in East China and helping to build the capacity of grassroots NGOs in China; participating in environmental education and advocacy; and bringing public interest lawsuits against polluters when I am delegated to do so.
What environmental experience did you have before becoming an Environmental Mission Scholar? I first studied Environmental Law in China in 2009, and continued my study of Environmental Law since 2012. My purpose is simple: I want to act what I have learned.
I was a real estate legal supervisor and paralegal of Allbright Law Office in Shanghai before I became an environmental attorney. I have been seeking the opportunity to provide legal services focused on environmental protection. Now I have started my dream career that I will always treasure.
What are your career goals? My career goal is to be the best professional environmental attorney in China. Through my practice and research, I will work hard to be an environmental legislative expert and supervisor of environmental enforcement in the future, so I can make a bigger contribution.