VLS U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law Establishes Training Program in China

The U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL) at Vermont Law School will establish an Environmental Law Training Program (ELTP) to guide environmental stewards and legal advocates in China, school officials announced today.

The goal of the program, which will be developed over the next three years, is to increase the capacity of legal advocates to effectively engage in environmental advocacy, mainly through utilizing China's recently enacted provisions on environmental public interest litigation.

"The Environmental Law Training Program will advance the Vermont Law School program in China to an even higher level of engagement and further the school's mission to make the world more sustainable and just," said Professor Siu Tip Lam, director of U.S.-Asia PEL. "ELTP seeks to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for advocates to be effective as they work toward solving some of China's environmental woes, and to establish a foundation for a new breed of environmental advocate in China. My VLS colleagues, students, and I are excited to begin work on this critical resource."

ELTP plans include targeted training for emerging environmental advocates on using legal methods to achieve environmental protection goals. Training will consist of a one-month intensive course of study delivered by experienced lawyers and professors; a 12- to 18-month fellowship to provide practical experience in applying the law; a set of ongoing, interactive online courses designed to sharpen advocates' skills; and a networking program to share experiences as well as strategies for overcoming challenges faced by the advocates. In addition, U.S.-Asia PEL plans to provide resources to select programs that implement specially designed environmental legal advocacy projects.

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 Environmental Law Training Program, email nbihun@vermontlaw.edu or call 802-831-1342. For more information about the U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law, visit vermontlaw.edu/us-asia.

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Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation's largest and deepest 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.​