Advocates4Earth was formed on the 22nd of January 2019.
The idea for an organised vibrant network of Global South environmental lawyers, activists, researchers and volunteers was built after realisation that there is an immense need for legal advocates who can use their activism and time to initiate or empower critical grassroots campaigns for environmental, climate and wildlife justice in the Global South. This is crucial in the modern era of neo-liberal capitalism, climate injustice, dirty energy, lack of transparency and accountability by public bodies, political and business leaders. The idea is also critical given the ever-growing disregard for biodiversity loss, wetlands protection or wildlife conservation and welfare.
Against this background, came the founding of Advocates4Earth. The organisation was found by environmental lawyer and activist, Lenin Tinashe Chisaira.
Advocates4Earth was originally known as the People and Earth Solidarity Law Network (PESLawyers). The Solidarity aspect remains in our motto ‘Solidarity for Environmental Justice.’ From inception, the organisation was registered as a non-profit Trust in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe in January and October 2019.
The organisation initiated public interest litigation on sensitive issues such as wildlife capture and trade in Zimbabwe and in calls for administrative review of mining related decisions.
At the Global advocacy levels, Advocates4Earth representatives have participated in local and global forums such as:
- United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC CoP24) in Katowice, Poland
- United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC CoP25) in Madrid, Spain.
- 18th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP18) in Geneva, Switzerland
- Alternative Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa
- Elephants in Captivity Indaba (Hermanus, South Africa)
- SADC Peoples’ Summit (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).
In September 2019, the Board of Trustees resolved to change the name of the organisation from People and Earth Solidarity Law Network-PESLawyers to Advocates4Earth.
A deed of amendment was subsequently filed with the Deeds Registry (MA 2150/2019).
This change was hoped to better reflect the organisation’s role as environmental, climate and wildlife legal advocates representing hundreds of communities, species, environmental activists, researchers, lawyers and non-lawyers, volunteers and affiliates