Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)

Palawan, Philippines
Joined June 2022

The Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), Inc. is an environmental NGO committed to helping communities uphold their constitutional right to a healthful and balanced ecology.

Presence in: Philippines
Focus: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice
Its staff is made up of lawyers, paralegals, researchers, and community organizers. It also works with an extensive network of volunteer lawyers and scientists. As part of its assistance, ELAC provides legal representation in environmental court cases, legal advice in drafting environmental laws, paralegal trainings for both community volunteers and government law enforcers, and undertakes research and advocacy in relation to environmental problems.
Many of the issues ELAC works on are related to the access to and use of forestry and coastal resources, pollution, and land use and tenure. Through its area offices in Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Leyte, ELAC responds to these issues by addressing the leading social causes of environmental degradation: unsound policies, poor resource management and governance, weak enforcement of laws, poverty and lack of awareness.
To effectively deal with the myriad environmental problems threatening Filipino communities, ELAC has organized its activities into a seven-part program with the following components: 1) Developmental Legal Assistance (DLA), 2) Community-Based Resource Management (CBRM), 3) Education and Training, 4) Advocacy, 5) Enforcement, 6) Research, and 7) Institutional Capacity-Building.