Message from the Environmental Law Association of South Africa

The Environmental Law Association (ELA) of South Africa is once again honoured to partner with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, WildTrust, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Zululand, and the 'Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers' Congress (NEWF), in the 2020 Conservation Symposium. The ELA is a non-profit organisation with the primary objective of promoting the development, application, and practice of environmental law in South Africa. Over the past three decades, and increasingly now, we have witnessed the global shift in our perception of the value of our natural environment which has created the urgent need for environmental legislation that reflects these societal convictions and upholds, promotes and protects our Constitutional rights. The ELA provides a platform for environmental lawyers to network, share information, and knowledge in the field of environmental law and pursue a green agenda - which has become an increasingly important yet complex and constantly changing and advancing branch of both domestic and international law. The ELA recognises that mainstreaming communications linked to environmental matters among professionals in various fields, such as conservation and law, plays a crucial role in satisfying the environmental right provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This year will be the ELA's eighth consecutive year as a Partner organisation to The Conservation Symposium, which has grown from strength to strength since its inception. The Symposium provides an important forum for lawyers to engage with conservation professionals and collaborate efforts to address contemporary conservation challenges, especially insofar as the law and conservation overlap. As the only Partner from the legal sector, the ELA hopes to bring a unique component to The Conservation Symposium that aims to advance the relationship between conservation and legislation. This year, we are thoroughly excited about the diverse topics to be discussed at the online The Symposium which range from data analysis, bioacoustics, biodiversity planning, marine conservation, and conservation in a state of rapid change. The opportunities and exposure that The Symposium provides for young conservation-minded delegates are unmatched and we are proud to have been part of this successful joint initiative once again. We wish all delegates a productive and enjoyable Symposium and we look forward to continuing our participation in this prestigious event into the future.

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