Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development

THE foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) was established in London in 1989 by a small group of international lawyers interested in the protection of the environ ment and the promotion of sustainable development. The organization provides advice and assistance to governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental groups worldwide. FIELD works for the development of international legislation that defends the environment and encourages fair and sustainable development. FIELD has a charitable, nonprofit status and attempts to develop skills and abilities in the citizens of developing and transition countries. In 2005, it became a subsidiary of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). FIELD remains an independent charitable organization but shares offices, core services, and a Board of Trustees with IIED. Thanks to their alliance, the two organizations can combine their strengths: FIELD's expertise in law and advocacy and IIED's experience in social, political, and economic sciences.

The foundation is interested in researching proposals for possible legislation, disseminating good practices though education and teaching, and lobbying for passing legislation for environmental protection and sustainable development. In particular, FIELD has three core programs covering biodiversity and marine resources; climate change and energy; and trade, investment, and sustainable development. The Biodiversity Program was established in 1997, and its projects are aimed to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. In addition to these three issues, the work of the program also focuses on liability and reparation for damage caused to biodiversity. The Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development (TISD) Program focuses on how the international regulations and institutions that manage the processes of globalization impact on developing countries and sustainable development. TISD also addresses how such regulations and institutions relate to international protocols intended to protect the environment. FIELD aims to foster the political and economical empowerment of marginalized countries and communities so that they can make informed choices about trade rules and their effect on the natural environment. FIELD lawyers have monitored and influenced the law and policy of the World Trade Organization, the European Union and other regional trading blocks, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and various environmental treaty bodies.

The foundation considers climate change as one of the most serious ecological threats facing the planet. Climate change and global warming have put the environmental, social, and economic security of many countries is at risk. FIELD has been directly involved in the development of international legislation about climate change, and continues to play an important role in its implementation. The foundation points out that climate change and global warming are already affecting the Earth's physical and biological balance. FIELD's program aims to address the threats that climate change and global warming create for developing and poorer countries. It works to strengthen international and regional legal frameworks and their application to ensure that these weaker communities are not left without help to bear the economic, health, environmental, social, and political burden of climate change effects. The main focus of FIELD's climate change work has been on providing legal assistance for the 43 members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in negotiating and implementing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. Since 1998, FIELD has also actively promoted the implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol in the European Union (EU), in particular through the elaboration of the EU emission allowance trading scheme.

SEE ALSo: Global Warming; International Institute for Sustainable Development; Kyoto Protocol.

BIBLIoGRAPHY. Foundation For International Environmental Law And Development (FIELD), (cited October 2007); Michael A. Toman and Brent Sohngen, Climate Change (Ashgate Publishing, 2004).

Luca Prono University of Nottingham

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