At the time of this interview, Alfred Brownell was the president of the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Liberia (Green Advocates.) In 1997, while a law student at the University of Liberia, Brownell launched Green Advocates and put into place Liberia’s first framework environmental law. Brownell was also the lead campaigner for Liberia’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, successfully pressing for the passage of legislative reform in the national forestry sector. Between 2000 and 2003, Brownell’s work helped bring about the imposition of sanctions on Liberia’s timber exports, a travel ban and an asset freeze on corrupt government officials. Through the years, Brownell has devoted himself to campaigning for national policies that stem corruption and abuses related to natural resource extraction.
Association of Environmental Lawyers of Liberia (Green Advocates)
Building a Reform Team and Staff
Country of Reform:
Date of Interview:
Friday, July 24, 2009
In this interview, Alfred Brownell details his extensive involvement with the reform of management of natural resources in Liberia. Specifically, Brownell elaborates on the experiences that led him to work for the creation of the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Liberia (Green Advocates), an organization that has played a pivotal role in Brownell’s campaign for improving the country’s forestry sector. Brownell describes the steps he took in obtaining much-needed cooperation from the government and private institutions to pass legislation that would safeguard the exploitation of forest cover, empower local communities living near such forests and stem resource-related human rights violations. Brownell also provides insight into the efforts that culminated in the incorporation of the Liberian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI). In explaining the successes achieved, Brownell describes how coalitions were built and campaigning was organized to receive support from both the populace and international organizations. These efforts resulted in the imposition of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council. These sanctions were a crucial leveraging tool in obtaining government cooperation. Recounting the many challenges involved in the process of obtaining successful reform, Brownell stresses the importance of oversight and institutional capacity building in ensuring the sustainability of reform.
Alfred Brownell - FullInterview
Nationality of Interviewee:
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative