Svitlana Kravchenko and John Bonine are two of the most respected scholars working at the intersection of human rights and environmental rights.
Over the course of the last 25 years, Svitlana Kravchenko has taught environmental law to hundreds of students, founded Ukraine's first public interest environmental law firm Environment-People-Law, fought for access to information, and ran the Human Rights for All program at the University of Oregon School of Law.
John Bonine - one the pioneers of environmental law in the United States - founded the Western Environmental Law Center and the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference and then expanded internationally by founding Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, a global network of human rights and environmental advocates who use law and science to advance environmental justice.
Together, John and Svitlana just co-authored Human Rights and the Environment, a comprehensive book that examines domestic and international case law to show how environmental and human rights law has converged in different parts of the world.
In this interview with WITNESS, the two University of Oregon professors discuss topics ranging from the history of the U.S. environmental movement to the three most pressing environmental and human rights issues in the world today. They also look forward to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Copenhagen from 7-18 December 2009.
A human rights and environmental lawyer remarked: "Once you have opened your eyes, you can never close them again." Svitlana and John hope they can contribute to the process of opening our eyes.
Text by WITNESS intern Dave Taub & Kelly Matheson
[Thanks to our amazing team of interns that made these interviews possible!]