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VLS joins Chinese pollution activist in DC

March 4, 2013

South Royalton, VT—Vermont Law School (VLS) announced that it will host a reception next week in Washington, D.C., with one of China’s most distinguished environmental activists and legal scholars, Professor Wang Canfa.

In collaboration with the VLS Alumni Association, the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, and the VLS Admissions Office, the reception is an opportunity for the entire VLS community—including prospective and admitted students, alumni, parents, and friends of Vermont Law School. VLS President and Dean Marc Mihaly will join Professor Wang at the reception.

Professor Wang Canfa is a faculty member with the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, and the Chairman of the Branch on Environmental Law of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences. He is also an expert on environmental litigation.

Professor Wang established China’s leading environmental law practice, the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, in 1998. He has helped tens of thousands of ordinary citizens use legal means to force polluting factories and unresponsive local officials to follow the law. In addition, he has presided over or taken part in the drafting and discussion of many Chinese laws and regulations on environmental protection.

Professor Wang was elected as Green China Person of the Year in 2005 and was honored by Time Magazine in 2007 as one of its World Heroes of the Environment. He is also one of the three awardees for The 13th Nikkei Asia Prize in 2008.

The U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law at VLS has been working with Professor Wang Canfa and the Huanzhu law firm—China’s first environmental public interest law firm—since 2011. The goal of this effort has been to provide legal assistance to indigent pollution victims, give them access to the justice system, promoting environmental governance through the use of courts.

In December 2012, VLS received a renewal grant from a private US foundation for $50,000 to teach legal professionals at the Huanzhu law firm about best practices in public interest environmental litigation in an effort to improve the likelihood that pollution and public health related cases will be brought by NGOs, legal clinics and civil society in china. Since January 2011, the Huanzhu law firm has opened over 100 cases and provided legal assistance to over 600 pollution victims.

The reception will be held from 5:30-7:30pm on Monday, March 11, 2013, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in the Ronald Reagan Building (Sixth Floor Dining Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004).

An RSVP is required. Please register online or call 802-831-1312.

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