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The Center for International Environmental Law.

Founded in 1989, the nonprofit Washington, D.C.- and Geneva, Switzerland-based Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is a public-interest law firm focused on building awareness of international and comparative environmental law and policy. Its website, located at, provides an in-depth look at this organization's mission and its ongoing work to promote law-based solutions to the myriad environmental concerns facing countries around the world.

CIEL has a four-part mission: to solve environmental problems and promote sustainable societies through the use of law; to incorporate fundamental principles of ecology and justice into international law; to strengthen national environmental law systems and support public interest movements around the world; and to educate and train public-interest-minded environmental lawyers. To this end, CIEL provides a range of environmental legal services in both international and comparative national law, including policy research and publication, advice and advocacy, education and training, and institution building.

The CIEL homepage features links to 8 program areas (biodiversity, biotechnology, climate change, human rights, international financial institutions, law and communities, persistent organic pollutants, and trade and sustainable development). For each program area, visitors will find a brief rundown of the latest-breaking related news items of relevance to policy makers and practitioners of environmental law (archives of CIEL news dating back to 1999 can be accessed through the Announcements link on the homepage).

Each program area further contains in-depth descriptions of the work CIEL is doing in that area, including research, advocacy, litigation, and investigations. Visitors can also find links to CIEL-produced and other publications of interest (many of which are available online for free), as well as related websites. The program area pages also include updates on relevant domestic and international initiatives.

On the Human Rights and Environment page, for example, visitors can learn about how CIEL is working on behalf of indigenous groups to protect their community-based property rights to local natural resources. In one research initiative under this program area, CIEL is gathering data to persuade the World Bank to consider the human rights implications of its lending operations, despite the bank's traditional argument that this would contradict its mandate to not consider political issues when making lending decisions.

Among the general resources offered in the CIEL site's topic areas are press releases; updates on domestic and international initiatives in such fields as law, accounting, education, and research; and glossaries on topics such as climate change and forestry. Listings of upcoming workshops, courses, partner programs, and publications relevant to topic areas are also furnished.
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Title Annotation:ehpnet
Author:Dooley, Erin E.
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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