Position: City of Dallas, TX, Senior Climate Coordinator (Deadline: 5/30/2019)

This was an interesting position that was shared on a listserv that I am on.  I don’t know anything about it, but I think it might be of interest to environmental lawyers.

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/dallas/jobs/2447867/sr-climate-coordinator

 

Celebration of our Graduating Students Earning Social Justice Certificates

A wonderful ceremony by our Social Justice and Public Interest Law Center celebrating our graduating students, recognizing their achievements, and announcing the various public interest summer fellowships (39!!) awarded for pursuit of summer internships with public interest or government organizations.  Hannah Ford-Stille and Daniel Johnston also won the Herman Wildman Social Justice Law Writing Award.  And also recognition of student pro bono work over their three years in law school. And, of course, there was an inspiring speech, a call to arms in the service of the public interest, by Genie Harrison, a 1992 Santa Clara Law alum.  Congrats to all!  (Our commencement will happen this coming Saturday.)

Professor Kreitzberg on left and Dean/Interim Provost Kloppenberg on right

Our proud Social Justice Certificate graduates.

Center for Social Justice and Public Interest

Here is a direct link to the program brochure:  SocialJusticeCenterCelebMay16_2019

What Can University-Community Partnerships Contribute to EJ and the Common Good?

EJ_Logo_3-360x360We had a terrific conference here at Santa Clara University on environmental justice and university-community partnerships for research, learning and social change.  There were some great keynote speakers,  including Rachel Morello-Frosch of UC Berkeley, Patrice Simms of Earthjustice, Gustavo Aguirre of CRPE, and Fr. Pedro Walpole, S.J. of Ecojesuit.  There were also many terrific panelists (all listed on the agenda that can be found on the conference website).  Among the lawyers, it featured Veronica Eady, Assistant Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board, Marianne Engelman-Lado of the Yale Law School Environmental Justice Clinic, and Helen Kang of the Golden Gate University Environmental Law and Justice Clinic discussing their experiences.  Santa Clara University’s President Michael Engh, S.J., gave the welcome remarks to the conference.  The second day included a discussion with Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J., Secretary of Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, about a potential national and international network of Jesuit higher education institutions around environmental justice issues.

"How Can We Work Well Together" Panel

From left: Veronica Eady, Kimy Grandi Soriano, Jennifer Merritt, Jacky Riviera, Marianne Engelman-Lado, Martha Matsuoka, Chad Raphael.

The conference took the participants through the arc of university-community partnership issues beginning with a panel describing the state of environmental justice. The following panels then discussed examples of what community-university partnerships on environmental justice have accomplished (“What have we done together”), followed by post-lunch panels on the lessons and best practices those collaborations teach us (“How can we work well together”) and on the opportunities for future collaboration (“What could we do together”). The panel on future collaboration opportunities allowed a number of speakers to make pitches for potential projects.  The day concluded with a performance by Santa Clara’s Ballet Folclorico and a poster session and reception. The second day, the conference followed up on the project opportunity discussion as well as a more detailed session on the formation of potential national and international environmental justice-focused network within the context of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities as well as the International Association of Jesuit Universities.

The interest and enthusiasm about the conference resulted in more than a 200 participants as well as a great set of presentations on the success stories of community-engaged research for advancing environmental justice, especially concrete substantive accomplishment and improvements in public health, as well as the set-backs and many opportunities for further action.  The event was an exciting culmination of three years of effort on the part of my colleagues Professors Chris Bacon (Environmental Science & Studies), Ed Maurer (Engineering), Chad Raphael (Communications), Iris Stewart-Frey (Environmental Science & Studies), and myself (Law), which will hopefully mark the starting point for new and strengthened relationships, joint projects, and networks related to environmental justice.

 

How the 14 tons of seized Pangolin scales illuminates a need for change in CITES

In early April 2019, fourteen (14) tons of pangolin scales were seized by custom authorities in a single smuggling operation bust. [Full article can be found here.] This seizure of pangolin scales, worth an estimated $38.7 million, is an example of how the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) protects wild endangered species populations by restricting trade. CITES regulates trade of  specimens -“any animal or plant, or any recognizable part or derivative thereof” that are listed in Appendix I by requiring import documentations and export permits. CITES further requires “scientific authority to determine that the export is not detrimental to the survival of that species.” CITES Art. 3(a). Pangolin scales fall into the Appendix 1 category as of 2016, when it was determined that all eight species of pangolins are endangered. [See IUCN article here.]

However, while CITES may prohibit the import and export of pangolin scales, it does not directly prohibit the poaching and killing of these animals. Therefore, while it may be illegal to ship pangolin scales without proper documentation, the shipment itself may be too far removed from the killing of the animal to protect the pangolins’ lives. As the recent article pointed out, while poaching is illegal, poachers and hunters often cannot resist the exorbitant pay-offs that pangolins offer. “Scales from a single pangolin can provide a life-changing sum of money for people living in some of the poorest communities.” [See CNN article here.] However, it is not until the scales are smuggled into (often) Asian shipping hubs that they are seized. By this time, the pangolin or scales may have changed hands many times from the original hunters or poachers. Preventing the deaths of these animals at this stage is especially urgent given that several species of pangolin are designated as “critically endangered,” just a step above extinction.

In order to better protect endangered species, it may not be enough to only establish export and import regulations. Often, endangered species and goods made from them become more valued because of their scarcity. By imposing restrictions, CITES may have also made the killing and poaching of the pangolin more lucrative for killers, while exposing only the transporters to criminal prosecution. Therefore, countries should devote more resources to the protection of their endangered species at the killing and poaching stage, rather than relying primarily on the ex post prohibitions the result from the permitting requirement at the international shipment level.

Cynthia Yuan