Environmental Conservation Department of Myanmar, VLS Sign Agreement

Vermont Law School and the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) of Myanmar recently signed an agreement intended to foster cooperation on environmental governance and climate change issues.

The agreement, or memorandum of understanding (MOU), includes, but is not limited to, joint studies and research, policy development, and capacity-building activities based on the needs of the ECD and the technical capabilities of VLS. The MOU will remain in effect for three years.

"Our agreement with our partners in Myanmar reflects Vermont Law School's commitment to developing global leaders who will act to influence positive change in environmental law and policy," said Marc Mihaly, VLS president and dean. "We're proud to partner with the ECD, and proud of our students and faculty involved in this important work."

Perhaps most notably, the MOU outlines VLS support for Myanmar's delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP). Led by Professor Tracy Bach, a team of VLS students accompanied the Myanmar delegation to the COP meetings in Lima, Peru, in December 2014 and again in Paris, France, in December 2015. VLS provided assistance to the Myanmar delegation leading up to and during the summits.

"After several years of working to promote environmental governance in Myanmar, we are very happy to have reached this agreement with the ECD," said Professor Siu Tip Lam, director of the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law at VLS. "This is a wonderful opportunity to work with the ECD to improve the implementation and enforcement of environmental laws in Myanmar."

The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law, founded in 2006 as the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, works collaboratively with government institutions, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), lawyers, judges, lawmakers and others to promote environmental governance in Asia. In 2013 the U.S.-Asia Partnerships initiated a Myanmar Environmental Governance Program. More recently, the partnerships embarked on a project working with government entities, NGOs and environmental lawyers from 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. For more information about the partnerships, visit vermontlaw.edu/us-asia.

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Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation's premier environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master's Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit vermontlaw.edu, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.​


Photo: Director General U Nay Aye of the ECD and Matthew Baird, U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law Distinguished Fellow