Vision, Mission, Goals
Who We Are
The Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), Inc. is an environmental non-government organization committed to helping communities uphold their constitutional right to a healthful and balanced ecology. 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.
To fulfill this vision, ELAC’s mission is to protect and assert environmental rights, and equitable access to and control of natural resource use by communities through effective developmental legal assistance, community-based resource management and advocacy.
ELAC envisions a Philippine society governed by laws that address the root causes of environmental degradation and social injustice. As part of an interdependent global community, this society manages natural resources through equitable and sustainable means. This society upholds transparency, and participatory democracy and governance, and recognizes indigenous and local cultures.
ELAC envisions communities that are empowered stewards of natural resources. These communities are vigilant and assertive of their environmental and human rights.
ELAC envisions a community development-oriented organization that upholds participatory and gender-fair processes in society and just labor practices. ELAC strives to establish a competent and value-centered team.
ELAC envisions a healthy environment that is managed in harmony with ecological principles, and that allows both present and future generations to enjoy an abundance of ecological goods and services while preserving its integrity.
- To empower communities to assert their rights
- To facilitate empowerment of communities in resource management
- To promote gainful & sustainable livelihoods
- To facilitate the establishment of mechanisms to allow participation of marginalized communities in community development
- To oppose environmentally destructive programs/activities and advocate for alternatives
- To advocate for just and responsive environmental laws and policies, and their effective implementation
- To build ELAC as a self-sustaining, cohesive organization of competent and dedicated staff and volunteers
No to Mining