Vermont Law gets $700K for Southeast Asia programs
The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law at Vermont Law School a $700,000 grant extension, increasing the total grant award to $6.8 million and enabling the partnership to expand its programs in Southeast Asia through September 2015.
The U.S.-China Partnership will use the funds to continue its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection and the need to create a legal or policy framework to promote sustainable development. This framework is needed not only within China, which faces tremendous environmental and public health-related challenges, but also for its overseas investments, which are on the rise. China is the third-largest investor internationally, behind the U.S. and Japan.
China’s most significant foreign investments have been made in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, in the nations of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, where Vermont Law is working to improve environmental governance.
While such investments can improve standards of living and bring economic opportunities to these countries, they also bring environmental risk to disadvantaged communities that do not have the capacity to advocate for their own protection.
The Vermont Law U.S.-China Partnership aims to address both the social and environmental impacts of foreign investment in the region by building upon the partnership’s relationships in China and successes collaborating with local officials and academic institutions.
“This extension reflects our accomplishments in China and will enable us to expand our expertise and work in the region,” Siu Tip Lam, associate professor of law and program director of the U.S.-China Partnership, said in a press release announcing the grant.
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