On Friday 15th March, the 7th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law (PIEL) UK Conference was held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Russell Square. PIEL UK comprises a committee made up entirely of students from universities around the UK. This year, students from a wide range of universities took part including UCL, SOAS, City Law School, BPP, Southampton and Sussex took part.
- Key note address by Professor Surya Subedi, University of Leeds
The subject of this year’s conference centred on the highly topical and emotive issue of land grabbing, and was titled ‘Development or Land Grabbing? Legal Challenges of the Global Land Rush.’ Speakers included some of the leading players in the fields of development, foreign direct investment, land grabbing and agrarian justice, providing diverse perspectives on how to approach the regulation of land acquisition going forward. There were also breakout workshops in the afternoon delivered on some more specific issues, such as REDD+ in the context of land grabs, the role of indigenous knowledge, and the inter-connectedness of global trade.
This year’s committee aimed to make the conference as sustainable as practically possible. All food was organic and locally made, with leftovers donated to a local homeless shelter; all waste was recycled; the conference was largely paper free with guests encouraged not to print tickets and programs not handed out. The whole event was also broadcast live on the Internet and a recording of all sessions can now be found on YouTube.
Sponsors for this year’s conference were: University College London, City Law School, London School of Economics, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Queen Mary University and Harrison Grant Solicitors.
Sustainability Officer/Committee Member
PIEL UK 2013