Pace Law School to hold Lecture on Environmental Law

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – On September 25, 2002 Pace Law School will host its third annual Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Lecture presented by Mr. Juan Mayr Maldonado, former Minister of the Environment of Colombia.  Mr. Mayr’s lecture, The Role of Ethics in the Construction of a Culture for Sustainable Development, will be held at Pace Law School in White Plains, with a reception immediately following. Admission to this lecture is free of charge and open to the public.

This presentation will discuss the belief that sustainable development thrives only in a culture in which ethics plays a strong role.  Development has economic, social, political and environmental consequences, which affect our freedom.  There is no freedom without equity and development must promote equity to provide an improved common welfare.  Ethical behavior in the context of development is behavior that promotes equity, providing benefits to all affected by development.  However, major economic, political, and social players do not act ethically in making development decisions.  This is evident in the ongoing investigations of legal and ethical failures of well-known corporations such as Enron, Xerox, and Arthur Anderson.  Mr. Mayr will argue that the absence in contemporary society of a strong ethical dimension is largely responsible for our failure to achieve the goal established ten years ago at the Rio Summit of sustainable development.  He will conclude that a code of ethics applicable to sustainable development must be created in order for this goal to be accomplished.

Juan Mayr has dedicated his life to the environment.  He promoted and became the first Executive-Director of the Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foundation.  He later became a member of the World Conservation Union where he promoted processes of decentralization and regionalization within the organization.  In addition, Mr. Mayr started the recognition of National and Regional Committees, and the establishment of Regional Congresses.  In 1998, he was appointed Minister of the Environment of Columbia where he began promoting a national participation process for the formulation of the National Environmental Plan.  Mr. Mayr has participated as President of the Extraordinary Session of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1999, as Chairman of the VIII session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2000.  He also chaired the High level Segment of the Second Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests on March 2002.

Founded in 1976, Pace Law School is located in White Plains, N.Y., 20 miles north of New York City. The School offers the J.D. program for full-time, and part-time day, and evening students. Its post-graduate program includes the LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in Environmental Law and an LL.M. in Comparative Legal Studies. Pace has one of the nation’s top-rated environmental law programs and its Clinical Education Program also is nationally ranked, offering clinics in domestic violence prosecution, securities arbitration, criminal justice, and disability rights.

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