Brazil Attorney General Raquel Dodge Launches Major WCEL Initiative “Global Institute of Prosecutors for the Environment”

The 4th International Seminar on Water, Life, Law, and Human Rights (Aqua, Vida, Direitos Humanos) was held at Brazil's National Council of the Public Ministry (Conselho Nacional do Ministério Público (CNMP)) on 11-12 December 2017. Brazil’s Attorney General Raquel Dodge announced during the proceedings that she will be leading a major WCEL initiative by forming a new “Global Institute of Prosecutors for the Environment.”

4th International Seminar on Water, Life, Law, and Human Rights

Brazil's Attorney General Raquel Dodge convened the 4th International Seminar on Water, Life, Law and Human Rights on 11-12 December in Brasilia. Participants included prosecutors, judges, and experts engaging in seven panel discussions to identify the challenges and available legal solutions for managing and protecting water resources. The panel titled "Water in the Dialogue Between Law and Science: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Protection of the Vulnerable" featured WCEL Chair Antonio Herman Benjamin, IUCN Councilor Ayman Rabi (Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG)), and WCEL Member Stefano Burchi (International Association of Water Law (AIDA)). Additional panels considered topics including "Water in Brazil Scientific, Ethical and Legal Perspectives;" "Water and Forests: Climate Change, Flying Rivers and the Principle of Non-Regression;" and "Water and Mining: Dam Safety and Contamination, The "Mariana" Case."

On this occassion, Attorney General Raquel Dodge announced that she will be leading the formation of a new “Global Institute of Prosecutors for the Environment.” The idea for the Institute originated at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea. Antonio Herman Benjamin announced the intention of WCEL to decisively act at the subsequent IUCN Congress in 2016 in Hawai'i, USA. This initiative recognizes the important role that prosecutors play in assuring compliance and enforcement of environmental laws, and is to serve a critical role at global level to increase training and capacity to reinforce the admirable work already under way through national and regional organizations of environmental prosecutors.

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