November 4, 2010 - Earth Jurisprudence: Awakening to Earth Rights

Sr. Pat Siemen presents (photo courtesy of Louisville Law's photostream)

Sister Pat Siemen, CEJ’s director, spoke at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, on November 4, 2010.  Her presentation, part of the diversity program at the law school, coincided with the Festival of Faiths program on the theme of “Sacred Soil.”

Sister Pat’s presentation highlighted the legal and ethical foundations for expanding legal consideration to the land, which according to Aldo Leopold, includes all the components of a single community of life.  Additional photos can be seen on the Louisville Law photostream.

October 7, 2010 – Welcome Reception, Environmental Justice Summit

CEJ hosted the Welcome Reception at the second annual Environmental Justice Summit held at Barry University School of Law on October 7 & 8, 2010.  The reception featured Brent Newell, Esq., of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, who represents the native village of Kivalina, Alaska.  Mr. Newell described the current status of the environmental justice lawsuit filed by the village.  His talk  was accompanied by photographs of the residents’ plight due to climate change and soil erosion.

The Environmental Justice Summit is presented annually by the Barry Law Environmental Responsibility Committee, with the support of various law student organizations.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 – Ecological Integrity Conference:  Reconnecting Humans, Health & Habitat 

Dr. Vandana Shiva, author and renowned environmental activist, spoke on the subject of Earth Citizenship at a conference hosted by CEJ on July 13, 2010.  A video highlight is available here.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is the founder of Navdanya, a movement to protect biological and cultural diversity and food security that has helped create the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in India.  Dr. Vandana Shiva is the winner of the Right Livelihood Award, the “alternative Nobel Prize,” and has authored such works as Stolen Harvest:  The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply and Earth Democracy:  Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.

She was joined by her sister, Dr. Mira Shiva, physician and public health activist, who has devoted three decades to issues of primary health care; the right to health, food and essential medicines; and gender and social justice.  As director of the Initiative for Health Equity and Society and a founding member of the worldwide People’s Health Movement, she was awarded India’s National Award for Women’s Development Through Application of Science and Technology for her pioneering work in women’s health, right to life-saving medicines, and national health care.

The conference also featured:
Dr. Mahadev Bhat, professor at FIU’s Department of Earth and Environment
Léonie Hermantin, deputy director of the Lambi Fund of Haiti
Susan Luck, president of the EarthRose Institute

March 26, 2010 - Who’s Next? (And What Will We Leave Them?) – Safeguarding the Earth for Future Generations

On March 26, 2010, more than thirty lawyers, law professors, and law students met at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida, to consider current efforts to preserve the Earth for future generations of humans and nonhumans alike.

After decades of expansion and development, we are becoming increasingly aware that our social and economic choices come at a price–a price that will be paid by our children and our grandchildren in climate change, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and a damaged Earth. We are learning that, as Thomas Berry asserted, we cannot have “well humans on a sick planet.”

The program highlighted themes of interdependence and sustainability, along with ongoing local and statewide efforts to reconcile current human needs and the needs of future generations of all species.

Keith R. Fountain, director of protection in Florida for The Nature Conservancy, began the program by outlining strategies and approaches that have resulted in the protection of almost 1.3 million acres of critical conservation landscapes throughout the state.

James Sellen, executive vice president of planning and design for MSCW, Inc., a firm that focuses on the planning and design of sustainable, mixed-use, master-planned communities, followed with an outline of past and future “new urbanism” projects.  His firm designs communities to meet human social and economic needs in a more environmentally sensitive manner than traditional developments.

Karen Z. Consalo, Esq. of  The Consalo Law Firm then addressed development, conservation and the remediation of environmental contamination in affected communities from the government’s various perspectives at the city, county and state level.

The keynote address was delivered by Alyson Craig Flournoy, law professor and director of the Environmental & Land Use Law Program at the University of Florida Levin School of Law.  She made the case for a National Environmental Legacy Act, based upon considerations of climate change, natural capital and intergenerational justice. Her presentation pointed out the basis for such an act in existing law and policy, and underscored the importance of having a proactive approach to preserving our environmental legacy, rather than an approach based upon a “spend down” mentality.

Please see presentations from the conference below.


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