Focused on solutions
West Coast Environmental Law is British Columbia’s legal champion for the environment. We provide legal information, guidance and support to individuals, communities and organizations seeking to protect their water, lands and air.
We believe that the best way to safeguard the environment is to have it protected by law. Through law, species and ecosystems will be protected, communities will have a democratic voice in their environment, social, and economic well-being, and we will make the essential shift to greater sustainability.
As our name implies, we are experts in environmental law. Our team specializes in dealing with laws to protect the environment and we are passionately committed to our work. That’s what makes West Coast Environmental Law unique and it’s why we are called on time and again for advice on the toughest legal issues facing the environment in British Columbia. West Coast has provided support to communities, First Nations, and non-governmental organizations on virtually every environmental issue imaginable since we opened our doors in 1974. In addition to empowering citizens to protect the environment, West Coast Environmental Law also makes certain that progressive, stringent environmental laws are created and enforced. West Coast Environmental Law has helped establish and shape many of BC and Canada’s most significant environmental legislative initiatives, and we continue to be the trusted authority on environmental laws affecting BC. We helped shape the original Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; we helped ensure lasting protection for the Great Bear Rainforest; we were one of the principal drafters of the BC Forest Stewardship Council forest certification standards – an internationally recognized “green mark” of approval for responsible forest use– just to name a few.
Our approach to achieving strong environmental protection is unique, in the way we analyze environmental law, develop strategies to empower and mobilize citizens, and reform law to safeguard our natural environment. We are also honoured to provide legal support to First Nations in implementing powerful legal strategies grounded in their own Indigenous laws and Canadian constitutional law to protect the lands and waters of their territories.
West Coast Environmental Law is dedicated to safeguarding the environment through law. For close to 40 years our staff lawyers have successfully worked with communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and all levels of governments, including First Nations governments, to develop proactive legal solutions to protect and sustain the environment.