July 03, 2024

Global Law Alliance Assists United Nations on Environmental Crimes Report

Clinic Students assisted in the creation of a UNODC report, assessing the rates at which countries criminalize environmental harms. The report will eventually be published as a chapter in a larger UNODC environmental crimes publication.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently published a report on the criminalization of environmental harms. Global Law Alliance (GLA) clinic students worked hundreds of hours to support it.

Alongside UN researchers, clinic students and L&C student researchers collected data on mining, water, air, fisheries, forestry, and other environmental topics from over 190 countries. The data collection process included reviewing, dissecting, and translating national legislation to assess rates of criminalization of environmental harms. As GLA Clinical Professor Erica Lyman put it, “[The report] is the culmination of an extraordinary amount of work.”

Nearly ten Lewis & Clark students worked on the report, including Anneli Cers ’24, Ayman Irfan ’23, Miranda Herreid ’25, Felix Knoebel ’25, Antonia Langowski ’25, Tanyaradzwa Muzenda ’23, and Kenzie Springer ’24.

“Environmental harms are a worldwide problem,” said Felix Knoebel, a GLA student who worked on the report. “The report and data we collected demonstrates that in many cases strong legislation exists but that there are priority hotspots, and we hope that the report motivates stronger legislation in those areas.”

The report will eventually be included as a chapter in a larger environmental crimes report to be published by the UNODC in the future.

To read the report, visit this link.