Environmental Defender Law Center

Seattle, United States
Joined July 2022

EDLC defends the human rights of people impacted by resource development projects and other threats to their environment, land, and ways of life by supporting lawsuits brought on their behalf.

Presence in: Brazil, United States
Focus: Environmental Justice, Indigenous Peoples' Rights, Legal Aid & Public Interest Law

The Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC) works to protect the human rights of people in the Global South whose health, environment, and ways of life are threatened by resource development projects and climate change. EDLC identifies situations where communities facing such challenges need and want legal assistance; enlists and works with top lawyers to bring lawsuits on behalf of those communities; and provides resources to develop and support the cases as they proceed. EDLC specializes in supporting civil lawsuits brought in the courts of the developing countries where harms occur. Depending on the unique needs of each case, EDLC will identify and recruit attorneys, scientists, or other subject matter experts to assist in case; prepare briefs on international human rights law or comparative national law; and serve as an advisor and liaison to the lawyers, clients, and other groups assisting the communities. EDLC’s litigation grant program also provides modest amounts of funding to help cover out-of-pocket litigation costs and sometimes reduced attorneys’ fees incurred in the lawsuits. In doing so, EDLC helps affected communities use the legal system to halt unwanted agricultural, energy, and mining projects; obtain compensation and other remedies for harms caused by such projects; and defend activists working to protect their communities from these projects.