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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Center For International Environmental Law (CIEL)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, International, International Studies, Law & Jurisprudence

Mission: The Central for International Environmental Law's (CIEL) uses the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society.

Target demographics: defend the right to a healthy planet

Geographic areas served: International

Programs: Strengthening international law and systems to protect the environment and human rights; Empowering communities to defend their rights; Developing and advocating for new global standards for international financial flows; and Strengthening the legal tools to counterbalance corporate power and increase transboundary corporate accountability.

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My time interning with CIEL was one of the best experiences of my life. I met so many incredible and passionate people, and I learned so much about environmental law and human rights. Everyone in the organization truly cares about the work that they do, and this passion is contagious. CIEL is making great strides to a more just and sustainable future and I was so lucky to have been a small part of that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I will always be thankful for my summer legal internship at CIEL. My experience at CIEL reaffirmed my reasons for choosing the legal profession--how could it not?! The CIEL lawyers exemplify exactly the type of creative, hard-working individuals that this world needs working on its most pressing problems. I am truly amazed by the breadth and depth of work that this small, talented team undertakes to harness the power of institutions, courts, and movements to create systemic change. Although I only worked there for 10 weeks, I gained exposure to CIEL's advocacy, litigation, and strategic partnering with other civil society groups. I felt the exciting waves of a newsroom that somehow existed within a slower-moving, iterative, detailed, multidimensional, critical undercurrent. Nothing CIEL does is hastily decided, and no novel environmental or human rights issue is beyond the reach of this team's ability to fight. The team brings both domestic and international expertise and understands the complex ways in which legal systems interrelate and influence one another. I will always be proud to have supported the efforts of its attorneys at a defining time in my career and education, and I look forward to following CIEL's cutting-edge work in the coming years.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL is a proven and powerful advocate for communities' rights!
It's always a pleasure working with CIEL, and we look forward to collaborating further to fight for a world that respects humans and the environment.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL is a reliable partner organization that produces excellent and thorough work on cross-cutting issues such as climate change, development finance, and human rights. Their advocacy is hard-hitting, and instrumental in effecting real changes in systems and governance.

Jane P.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Two years ago, CIEL produced some research reports that helped me fundamentally redefine the plastic crisis our world is facing. CIEL's reports are focused and groundbreaking, and the organization is very adept at putting them in the right hands and in front of the right faces - and supporting their non-profit partners to do the same - to drive policy change and action. For over a year, I was working closely with some of CIEL's team while in coalition with them to move international policy toward more governance and regulation on plastics, and their experience with accomplishing policy objectives in a movement-oriented, inclusive, and justice-focused way was very impressive and inspiring. As I met more people from the organization and basically fell in love with each of them, both for their professional abilities and their generosity of spirit (there must be something in the water that everyone who works at CIEL is a genuinely kind person). I'm honored to be rolling up my sleeves with this awesome team of humans working to support the safety and rights of other humans.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We've worked together with CIEL to fight fracking in Argentina, and have collaborated over the years on a number of initiatives targeting dirty energy, human rights violations, and bilateral and international financial institutions, as well as United Nations climate negotiations.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL is a brilliant group fighting for environmental justice. Hardworking and ahead of the curve.

Donor

Rating: 5

The past 12 years I have devoted myself to helping develop green energy around the planet. One of the biggest obstacles has been the lack of dedicated legal organizations, global in scope, to take on entrenched interests that make progress so difficult. CIEL fits this perfectly. I choose wisely where my limited funds go. I chose CIEL because they decidedly care about the future of the world and put words to action.

Gillian D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the incredible opportunity to intern with CIEL this past summer. The entire staff could not have been more welcoming. Working with CIEL showed me what it truly means to have a passion and fight for it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL is a trusted partner supporting communities in their fight for self-determination. Our organization has relied on them for legal advice and support in critical moments of key local struggles, and we also depend on them to forward strategies and campaigns that enact lasting change globally.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am forever grateful to CIEL for taking me on as a legal intern this past summer. CIEL's work is at the forefront of international environmental law, and it was an invaluable experience to be a small part of that. Working there, I was able to learn from the most dedicated and passionate group of professionals. Everyone at CIEL cares so deeply about the communities they serve, and that is reflected in the incredible work they are able to accomplish. It was an honor to work here, and I am grateful for the many ways in which CIEL inspired me in my career.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I had the opportunity to serve as a legal intern for CIEL. I enjoyed every moment and learned so much from the experience. Everyone at CIEL is so passionate about their work and the communities they advocate with for environmental and human rights. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work for CIEL to advocate for the global environment and I look forward to seeing what the organization works on in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CIEL is a great nonprofit.
I had the chance to be an intern at CIEL, in Geneva, where I did legal research on how to operationalize linkages between human rights and climate change. I worked with the most passionate people I have ever met and learnt from the best. Their dedication to human rights and climate justice is a source of inspiration. It was an amazing opportunity.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is quite an impressive organization. It never ceases to amaze me how much this small group of highly dedicated professionals is able to accomplish. They focus on using the law to save the environment and to promote human rights around the world. They work directly with communities adversely affected by multinational mega projects (such as gold mines) to ensure a just and environmentally sustainable resolution. They do extensive legal research, collaborate closely with other like-minded organizations, and bring the law to bear at high levels of international negotiation. Their annual report is always eye-popping for both the breadth and depth of their accomplishments and is the reason I remain a sustaining donor.

Donor

Rating: 5

CIEL is a wonderful organization with expertise in international environmental and human rights law as well as international governance. It's amazing what CIEL is able to do with a small staff of dedicated lawyers and professionals. Whether working directly with communities or at international negotiations, CIEL always respectful, professional, and driven by its mission to promote a more just and sustainable society.

Shilpi C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL is an integral and influential player in the #breakfreefromplastic movement at the regional (US) and global level. Their Fueling Plastics report, in particular, is a game-changing piece of research used widely by movement members to effectively communicate the fossil fuel industry's role in plastic production and human health impacts. CIEL's dedication to environmental and social justice is highly impactful in our intersectional work involving human rights and environmental conservation. I love collaborating with CIEL's exceptional staff while utilizing their fact-based resources as a global communicator and activist.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I worked as an intern for CIEL's People, Land and Resources team in summer 2018. Not only did I learn a lot about development finance and its effects on people and the environment, but I also got to be directly involved with many interesting projects. Interning at CIEL has inspired me to pursue a degree in international development, as I want to dedicate my life to solving issues similar to the ones that CIEL addresses. The staff at CIEL works hard to make the world a better place every day, and it was a privilege to work alongside them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CIEL is defined not just by a wealth of expertise, but an extraordinary passion for environmentalism and human rights. The work produced at this organization far outweighs its small staff, all of whom are actively making a difference in their respective fields. I was lucky to be intern for CIEL this past summer and gained invaluable experience and insight into the environmental law and policy. Between its friendly staff and cutting-edge work, I truly cannot recommend this NGO enough.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I had the pleasure of interning with CIEL for three months this past spring on the communications team. While maintaining CIEL's web presence and contributing to the blogs, I also had the opportunity to sit in on and participate in broader meetings and events. The range of experiences I was offered greatly helped shape me as a communicator as well as an activist in the climate sphere, and I am very grateful for that.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great people and exciting work! Thanks CIEL for having me as a legal fellow for a year. It's always a pleasure and an honor to work with CIEL!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've shared office space with CIEL in the past and been in many professional settings with its staff. They have detailed analysis, a comprehensive view of the problems faced by affected communities and policymakers alike, and produce excellent research. Plus, they're nice people!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with CIEL for several years as part of a coalition fighting for human rights in development. CIEL is there with critical research and analysis. And they're always willing to go to bat for the rights of communities around the world. CIEL makes sure that grassroots voices are heard in the halls of power.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have nothing but love and deep admiration for my colleagues at CIEL. Their work within international climate negotiation spaces and exposing the climate crimes of some of the largest oil corporations has been stellar and hard-hitting. I also appreciate that they are both legal wonks *and* grassroots activists at heart, commonly seen at protests across the DC area and beyond.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL's innovative strategies make it a leader in strengthening environmental protections and promoting human rights through international law. Whether it is by empowering local communities to defend their rights, standing up to corporate power, or advocating directly with decision makers, CIEL's dedicated and highly skilled staff enable it to have a wide ranging impact that benefits everyone working for environmental and social justice.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Last summer, I have the great opportunity to intern at Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

Having more than 8 years of experience as a lawyer working for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Agency, and other agencies in Peru, my purpose was to learn about how to effectively address environmental issues worldwide from an NGO perspective and mainly help vulnerable communities develop in a sustainable and climate-friendly way. I am glad that while working for CIEL, I was able to get involved in areas of international law and assist with policy analysis and advocacy regarding illegal logging, trade in illegal timber, potential harms caused by the implementation of projects in Latin America, and climate change. Among others, this experience made sadly realize that my home country Peru was failing to comply with regulations to fight against the trade of illegal timber.

Thanks to CIEL, I could attend several events and conferences on its behalf and be part of the NGO world knowing wonderful people whose organizations look to create a greater impact on people’s lives. Further, I had the opportunity to stand and raise my voice against the irrational decision of the US President to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

From the start, CIEL staff made me feel as a part of its family. I met incredible people, not just extraordinary professionals but lovely persons that are always willing to help and teach. I am pretty sure that they will continue with the great work.

I am so grateful to CIEL for this opportunity.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL is an outstanding non-profit that is able to achieve long-lasting impact by using the law to tackle pervasive environmental, health, and human rights issues. The people who work at CIEL are experts in their field and passionate about the work they do. CIEL doesn't back down from important but difficult battles, just because they are less likely to win or harder to explain to donors.

Carole H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2005, I clerked for CIEL's office in Geneva. During those three months, I had the great privilege of working with a dedicated staff to address issues of environmental sustainability in the WTO and research the intersection of human rights and environmental conservation. The organisation is committed to making the world a better place for all with top notch lawyers and staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a summer intern, I was able to see up-close CIEL's diligent work on environmental issues and human rights. CIEL and its employees set themselves apart by their close collaboration with local individuals and communities, partnerships with other organizations, international expertise and passion. They carefully analyse their activities and initiatives to ensure that they are always mission-driven and maximizing their impact globally.

Leyla B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to intern with the Center for International Environmental Law this past spring. Each day in the office, it was evident how hardworking and dedicated each one of my colleagues was - and is - to CIEL's mission. Although I only worked for CIEL for a few months, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of assignments and projects across multiple disciplines, which allowed me to learn and grow in more ways than one. I am confident that I will carry much of what I learned at CIEL in my future career, and that CIEL will continue to advance frontiers and pave the way of environmental justice for all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of interning at CIEL this past summer and would highly recommend the experience. CIEL clearly values interns as an important part of their team and offers many opportunities to learn by doing. I also felt very welcome in the office and enjoyed getting to know members of the staff.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CIEL has an impact that far exceeds its resources: contributing invaluable expertise and analysis, showing up for partners and investing in long-term relationships with impacted communities, fighting for accountability, transparency, and a human rights-based approach on all environmental issues in every fora.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a communications intern this past summer, I felt incredibly lucky to become a part of the CIEL community. Whether it was sitting in on board meetings, writing for the blog or bolstering our web presence – I gained so much valuable experience. All while surrounded by an incredibly supportive and welcoming group of people!

John302

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Depend on this excellent NGO to be at the forefront of efforts to address climate change, and to keep me updated on same.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an excellent ngo that manages to tie together the sometimes quite disparate strands of domestic legal
Environmental policy into a cohesive and understandable campaign. When you try and help Ciel you really feel like you're having a decent impact.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What happens in Peru affects all of us. These world issues need light she'd on them and this Non profit does that very well.

Donor

Rating: 5

The CIEL is the most informed, intelligent and concerned globally for all life. It fights in defense of local inhabitants, educates and implements assistance and programs all can use and stand up for their own environments, wherever they may be. I am more than impressed w/ their noble efforts and ongoing work.