Alfred Brownell and Liza Aleksyeyeva join University of Oregon law student volunteers, law professors, and others for a day of planting native tree seedlings at Mount Pisgah Arboretum, near Eugene.
Green Advocates, Liberia
Alfred Brownell arrived in Eugene in April, soon after former Liberian president Charles Taylor was arrested for war crimes. Taylor spent more than two years on the lam in Nigeria to avoid facing charges of human rights abuses. Friends of E-LAW, Roz and Paul Slovic, hosted Alfred to speak in their home to a small group of community activists. Alfred expressed relief that Taylor was arrested and hope for the future of his country.
E-LAW U.S. helped Alfred launch Green Advocates, the only public interest environmental law organization in Liberia. Alfred and his colleague Jerome Verdier were awarded "2005 Human Rights Advocates of the Year" by The Analyst, a leading Liberian newspaper.
Alfred`s organization was instrumental in putting in place Liberia`s first environmental laws, which paved the way for Liberia`s new President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to sign her first Executive Order, canceling all timber concessions in Liberia.
Alfred has made several visits to work with E-LAW U.S., and E-LAW U.S. Staff Attorney Jennifer Gleason has traveled to Liberia to work with Green Advocates.
Environment-People-Law (EPL) , Ukraine
Liza spent ten weeks at E-LAW U.S. this spring, to study English at the University of Oregon`s American English Institute (AEI) and help secure access to clean drinking water for a community near Lviv.
The water in Drohobych, Ukraine, is contaminated by pollutants from an antiquated oil refinery. Liza worked with E-LAW U.S. Staff Scientist Mark Chernaik to translate an affidavit for presentation in court.
The American English Institute provided Liza, and many other E-LAW partners over the years, a scholarship for intensive English training. Liza says English is the global language of law and science, and to be a more effective advocate for the environment she needs professional-level English training.
Liza tested her English skills as a guest on Air America`s local affiliate, 1600 KOPT. Radio personality Nancy Stapp invited Liza, E-LAW U.S. Education Director Carolyn Sykora, and AEI Director of Program Development and International Outreach Peggy Dame, to speak about E-LAW`s work and the AEI program. Peggy says AEI values the diversity that E-LAW participants bring to AEI`s program and the "good role model that E-LAW partners provide as model community activists."
Partners from Liberia and Ukraine visit Eugene to gain the skills and resources they need to protect the environment, including improving English comprehension, understanding U.S. environmental laws, and working with U.S. NGOs and agencies.