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Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)

Palawan, Philippines
Joined June 2022

The Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), Inc. is an environmental NGO committed to helping communities uphold their constitutional right to a healthful and balanced ecology.

Presence in: Philippines
Focus: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice
Its staff is made up of lawyers, paralegals, researchers, and community organizers. It also works with an extensive network of volunteer lawyers and scientists. As part of its assistance, ELAC provides legal representation in environmental court cases, legal advice in drafting environmental laws, paralegal trainings for both community volunteers and government law enforcers, and undertakes research and advocacy in relation to environmental problems.
Many of the issues ELAC works on are related to the access to and use of forestry and coastal resources, pollution, and land use and tenure. Through its area offices in Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Leyte, ELAC responds to these issues by addressing the leading social causes of environmental degradation: unsound policies, poor resource management and governance, weak enforcement of laws, poverty and lack of awareness.
To effectively deal with the myriad environmental problems threatening Filipino communities, ELAC has organized its activities into a seven-part program with the following components: 1) Developmental Legal Assistance (DLA), 2) Community-Based Resource Management (CBRM), 3) Education and Training, 4) Advocacy, 5) Enforcement, 6) Research, and 7) Institutional Capacity-Building.

People Associated With This Organization

Grizelda Mayo-Anda

Philippines  
Environmental Legal Assistance Center...
Joined June 2022
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Community Paralegals, Environmental Justice, Governance, Accountability & Transparency
Atty. Mayo-Anda is an environmental attorney with over 28 years of field-based practice in environmental advocacy and community-based resource management work in the Philippines. She established the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) in1990, now one of the Philippine’s most active NGOs working to empower communities and local stakeholders to protect their natural resources. She is currently the Executive Director of ELAC.

Known as Gerthie to family, colleagues and friends, Atty. Mayo-Anda has more than two decades of programmatic and managerial experience in various areas of non-profit work including policy development and advocacy for conservation and natural resources management, community development and human rights, fund raising for non-profit environmental work, project cycle management/monitoring and evaluation, partnership building with local governments and private sector on concerns such as climate change, coastal resource management, clean air management and legislation, protected area establishment and management and community organizing work for natural resource management.

She has received several awards and commendations for her environmental work, including one from Conde Nast Traveller Magazine in July 2000 which selected her from a list of global candidates in recognition of her work with the Palawan indigenous
communities and the establishment of ELAC; the Puerto Princesa City’s MAYOR’S AWARD for valuable contribution to sustainable development and environmental protection (March 1998); and Grant Fellowship Awardee, United States-Asia
Environmental Fellowship (USAEP) Program (1994); the Western Command 2014 Bayanihan Award for engagement with government and communities on environmental education and the February 2018 “Istorya ng Pag-asa” commendation of Vice-President Leonor Robredo.

She is a lecturer/resource person on Seminars/Trainings organized by the Philippine Judicial Academy (Philja), Alternative Law Groups (ALG) and government agencies (eg. DENR, DA-BFAR and local government units) on environmental laws, new rules on the prosecution of environmental cases, coastal law enforcement, climate change and environmental governance. She is an author and co-author of various articles and publications on environmental policy, environmental governance, community-based resource management, mining, REDD+ and corruption risks.

She is a Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Law (since 1996) and Legal Ethics (1995-1998, 2003-2020) and Land Titles (since 2014) in the Palawan State University College of Law.

She finished law degree (cum laude) in 1985 at the San Jose de Recoletos, Cebu City and undergraduate degree in Accounting (cum laude) from St. Theresa’s College, Cebu City.
Grizelda Mayo-Anda is the network champion (main point of contact) for Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC).

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