We work with communities to ensure these earth rights defenders have the skills and resources necessary to tackle their communities’ greatest challenges. ERI’s training programs are part of our three-pronged approach, complementing our campaign and advocacy work in the field and our legal actions in the courtroom. Together, these pillars of training, legal work and campaigning support local voices and leadership and put the power of law back in the hands of the people who need it most – the people whose human rights, livelihoods and communities are threatened and attacked in the name of development.
An activist standing up against a dam on the Salween River in Myanmar. A community leader trying to uncover the impacts of a coal-fired power plant in Thailand. A young organizer fighting for the land rights of rural farmers in her home in Cambodia.
At the EarthRights School, we bring these emerging earth rights defenders together to expand their toolkits, techniques, expertise, and networks.
ERI offers strategic workshops tailored to specific earth rights issues and audiences. These trainings focus on topics like land rights, environmental impact assessments or transnational legal advocacy strategies for communities. This capacity building helps to ensure they have access to information, can challenge a project or seek a remedy around particular types of development projects, such as coal power plants or hydropower dams.
Mekong Legal Advocacy Institute
An annual program for lawyers in the Mekong region, the Mekong Legal Advocacy Institute (MLAI) provides a forum for junior lawyers and campaigners to share skills and experience and to learn from senior public interest lawyers. It’s also a platform for lawyers to coordinate action on regional environmental and social issues.
Mekong Legal Network
ERI supports the Mekong Legal Network, an independent group of experienced earth rights legal professionals and civil society leaders from the region who convene annually to strategize and coordinate legal actions across the Mekong region.
Amazon Indigenous Seminar
ERI organizes seminars focused on the legal challenges and campaigns faced by indigenous communities in Latin America. During these seminars, indigenous earth rights defenders have the opportunity to share information and expertise with one another, learning and gaining skills from each other as well as from regional and international experts in the field.
The Mitharsuu Center for Leadership and Justice
Opened in 2017, the Mitharsuu Center for Leadership and Justice brings together ERI’s Mekong and Training programs under one roof for the first time. Staff, students, partners, and alumni use the central campus to live, learn, and work, facilitating collaboration and galvanizing the earth rights movement. This sustainable, environmentally-friendly building is a hub for strategic organizing, movement building, and leadership development for earth rights activists in Southeast Asia.