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The Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund

Legal resources for British Columbians protecting their local environment

A lawyer hired by a regional environmental organization negotiates changes to BC’s laws protecting mountain caribou. The BC Supreme Court agrees with an opponent of fish farms that BC’s laws allowing fish farms are illegal. First Nations and non-First Nations people living near the proposed Ashcroft landfill not only derail the landfill, but also convince MetroVancouver to rethink its whole approach to waste management.

These and other successes of the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF) reinforce West Coast’s belief that the law is a tool that ordinary British Columbians must be able to access to protect their communities and to become a champion for the environment.

Since the Fund’s creation 20 years ago, grants from the EDRF have allowed community groups and individuals to hire lawyers (from outside of West Coast) at a legal aid rate to:

  • Explore legal solutions to protect the environment;
  • Represent environmental interests in the courts or before government tribunals;
  • Engage in mediation or negotiation with other stakeholders to develop win-win solutions that protect the environment;

In addition, EDRF grants allow community groups to hire scientific experts to assist a lawyer in any of the above steps. For more information see the Funding Policies page.
If you are trying to protect BC’s natural environment, are up against industry and/or government and need legal assistance, then the EDRF is here to help you protect the environment for all British Columbians.

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about the EDRF program. Click here for our EDRF Pamphlet. To apply for an EDRF grant, please visit the Apply to the EDRF section. Or browse our other sections to learn how West Coast Environmental Law and the EDRF program can help you utilize the law for the benefit of the environment.

Every year the EDRF distributes over $200,000.00 in grants to individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations across the province of British Columbia.  To view a list of our grantees by year, please click here.

If you need to talk to a lawyer about a BC-focused environmental law problem, and are not certain if you need to apply to the EDRF, start by e-mailing us at beverdene@wcel.org or calling us from anywhere in BC at 1-800-330-9235.

An additional resource that may be of assistance in researching potential resolutions to your environmental conflict is Clicklaw.  Clicklaw is a website aimed at enhancing access to justice in British Columbia. It features legal information and education, but it is not a site of laws. Clicklaw is operated by the Courthouse Libraries BC as part of their mission to improve public access to legal information.  Use the widet below to help you identify resources listed by Clicklaw: