Working Exchange Visitors: Guatemala and Jamaica

Jeanette de Noack at annual meeting
Jeanette de Noack (front left) is pictured on a field trip to Strawberry Hill, Oregon, with other participants at the 2005 E-LAW Annual Meeting (PHOTO: John Bonine)

Jeanette de Noack, Guatemala Jeanette de Noack is an attorney with Centro de Accion Legal-Ambiental y Social de Guatemala (CALAS) in Guatemala City. She is working with E-LAW U.S. on a four-year project to build capacity to protect the Mesoamerican Reef through law. The Mesoamerican Reef is the world`s second largest barrier reef, next to Australia`s Great Barrier Reef. It is home to tremendous biodiversity and supports coastal economies in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. But the Reef is threatened by pollution, poorly regulated tourism practices, and unsustainable fishing. The governments of the four countries have agreed to protect the Reef, and E-LAW is helping public interest lawyers turn those commitments into tangible protections, on the ground. In the coming months, CALAS and E-LAW U.S. will educate fishing communities, dive operators, and enforcement agencies about new regulations intended to protect the Reef. E-LAW U.S. thanks the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Summit Foundation for its support of E-LAW`s work in the region to protect the Reef. While in Eugene, Jeanette is participating in a 10-week intensive English program at the University of Oregon`s American English Institute. She has spoken about her work in Guatemala at the Northwest Tribal Water Rights Conference and at monthly meetings of the West Cascade Peace Corps Association and the Professional Women`s Network of Oregon. For more information on CALAS, see: www.calas.org.gt.

Akilah Anderson
Akilah Anderson
Diana McCaulay
Diana McCaulay with school children.

Diana McCaulay and Akilah Anderson, Jamaica In October, Diana McCaulay and Akilah Anderson from the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) traveled to Eugene to work with E-LAW U.S. staff lawyers and scientists to protect Jamaica`s beaches from ill-advised development. Diana and Akilah also worked with E-LAW U.S. development staff to raise JET`s visibility and design approaches to prospective funders for JET`s important work. Diana is JET`s Executive Director. Akilah was hired in 2004 to serve as JET`s first full-time attorney. JET`s environmental education programs have reached students in one-third of Jamaica`s schools, and its beach cleanup and Earth Day programs have attracted wide participation. Facing more threats to Jamaica`s environment, in 2002, JET began law and advocacy work. Since then, JET has been working to educate local communities about environmental conservation and the role communities can play in implementing and enforcing effective environmental laws.

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Jeanette de Noack, an attorney from Guatemala, is visiting E-LAW U.S. as a Working Exchange Fellow. Diana McCaulay and Akilah Anderson were also in Eugene, working with E-LAW U.S. to strenghten their organization, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET).