Special Section:
Environmental Law

Healing a World of Hurt

From Asia to Africa, some experts focus on the environment

Professor William Alford ’77, a scholar in Chinese law and legal history and director of the HLS East Asian Legal Studies Program, is author of several articles on environmental law in China. They stemmed from a Harvard University-wide project which brought together scientists, legal scholars, economists, public health professionals and social scientists. Currently he is collaborating on a paper with Shen Yuanyuan LL.M. ‘89, a researcher at the Fairbank Center at Harvard, who will be a lecturer at HLS next year. They are looking at how ordinary people in China use tools such as litigation, mediation, administrative measures and protest to address environmental problems.

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Ed Norton ’71 is the former senior adviser to the Nature Conservancy in China and Southeast Asia in their efforts to help establish and strengthen a system of nature preserves in China’s Yunnan Province. The area is home to the red panda and the highly endangered Yunnan golden monkey, as well as nearly half of the plants used in traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, the project has encouraged the development of ecotourism in the region. Norton previously worked with the Wilderness Society and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and he is a co-founder of the Grand Canyon Trust.

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Rugemeleza Nshala LL.M. ’97 co-founded and led the Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team in Tanzania for nearly 10 years. Based in Dar es Salaam, the organization provides legal assistance on biodiversity and environmental law to institutions in Tanzania and is the first public interest environmental law organization in the country. Nshala also served as counsel before Tanzania’s High Court on behalf of those affected by the dumping of hazardous waste. While a visiting fellow at the HLS Human Rights Program in 2003, he researched violations of human rights in Tanzania’s mining sector.

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Zhang Hongjun LL.M. ’00 is a former director in the Legislative Office of China’s National People’s Congress and a former program officer with China’s State Environmental Protection Administration. He is now a partner in the business law section at Holland & Knight, where he works with firm attorneys on the China Team. Since 1993, he has been involved in the drafting and implementation of a variety of Chinese laws, covering chemical management, land use, water resources and manufacturing processes. Zhang was the only lawyer invited by President Clinton to attend the Environmental Round Table in Guilin, Guangxi Province, in 1998, and he is a member of the Energy Foundation board of directors.

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Zhou Yangfang LL.M. ’06 was a staff member at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing, where she worked in coordination with local NGOs on a variety of projects promoting environmental enforcement through public participation. While at the NRDC, she also ran an environmental law outreach project that served five rural Chinese provinces. Currently she is completing a Ph.D. at Wuhan University Law School, Hubei, China. The topic of her dissertation is the amendment of China’s Environmental Protection Law.

See also:
Lawyers for the Dammed

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