Seminars and Events
2013 past seminars and events:
Legal frameworks for the rights of nature
Tuesday 01 October 2013
The work of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is working with communities in the United States and in countries around the world on grassroots organising, public education and outreach, research, and legislative drafting - assisting people, NGOs, elected representatives, and government officials to craft and adopt new laws that change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities.
Through this work, the Legal Defense Fund has assisted more than three dozen communities in the U.S., and assisted the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador, to put in place a new paradigm to protect nature - a paradigm based on rights.
Speakers: Thomas Linzey, Director CELDF & Mari Margil, Associate Director CELDF
Regulating groundwater use for environmental protection
Wednesday 03 July 2013
Groundwater has an important role in the environment, supporting surface water systems and its own ecosystems. It is also under pressure like never before, from over-extraction and contamination, as it is used for drinking or agricultural use, or interfered with by mines and coal seam gas extraction.
With the increased pressure on groundwater, now is timely to have a discussion about whether the laws in place are adequate to protect our precious groundwater resources.
Dr W.F. (Bill) Humphreys – Senior Curator, Western Australian Museum, Collections and Research
Ian Potts – Member, Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal
- Rebecca Nelson – Program Leader, Comparative Groundwater Law and Policy Program, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
A National Environment Commission
Tuesday 23 April 2013
With public confidence in environmental decision-making low and continuing pressure from business to cut so-called ‘green tape’ there is a clear need for stronger Federal leadership and oversight of environmental decision-making in Australia. Would Australia benefit from an independent voice for the environment and future generations?
Attendees heard from the New Zealand and Hungarian Commissioners of the Environment and Future Generations via Skype, about their roles and how effective they have been in advancing better environmental outcomes and holding their governments to account.
• Dr Jan Wright - Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, New Zealand
• Dr Marcel Szabó – Deputy-Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations, Hungary
• Professor Lee Godden – Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Melbourne
What’s up with Offsets?
Wednesday 27 February 2013
In Victoria offsets have been widely used in the context of the regulation of native vegetation clearing. They are intended only to compensate for unavoidable ecological damage and loss. The logic of compensating for ecological damage faces the fundamental problem of equivalence between what is destroyed and the ‘gains’ represented by the offset.
Recent proposals to change native vegetation clearing rules in Victoria foreshadow a major weakening of these laws and much expanded use of offsets.
This seminar provided a critical look at offsets for biodiversity loss and whether problems in the system can adequately be dealt with, whether offset rules need to be overhauled, or whether the idea of offsets needs fundamentally to be reviewed.
- Dr Sarah Bekessy -Senior lecturer in environmental studies at RMIT University.
- Brendan Sydes - CEO Environment Defenders Office.
Special Event - This is not a Hoax!
Civil disobedience in a time of climate change.
Wednesday 20 February 2013
Presented by the Environment Defenders Office as part of the Sustainable Living Festival.
Jonathan Moylan and reports of the recent Whitehaven Hoax raise difficult and important questions for us all - about law, politics and morality in the 21st century, a time where climate change poses new challenges for our laws and our leaders.
The Environment Defenders Office convened a panel of experts to explore these issues.
- Jonathan Moylan
- Associate Professor Peter Christoff - University of Melbourne
- Roderick Campbell - Economist - Economists at Large
- Kirsty Albion - Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Please note: this is just the introductory talks and not the question time that followed. The quality of the recording during Jonathan's talk is patchy - apologies for this.