AVI has partnered with some of Australia’s leading law firms to form the Blue Pacific Pro Bono Collaborative.
AVI supports the Collaborative to connect with and consult partners across the Pacific, and identify unmet legal needs and demand for support. This is then matched with the Collaborative’s available expertise, where local expertise does not exist or is inaccessible.
AVI and the Collaborative deployed nine lawyers to Fiji in early 2023 as part of a pilot program, delivering over 600 hours of climate-related pro bono work. The Collaborative has also partnered with the Fiji Law Society to engage eight Fijian lawyers to work alongside the Australian lawyers through a peer-mentor model. This is intended to enhance the contextual relevance and sustainability of the project, build people-to-people links, draw on and enhance local legal expertise, support a culture of pro bono in Fiji, and deepen the legal capacity in both Fiji and Australia to respond to the climate crisis.
The Collaborative has scaled up its pro bono hours and reach with intensive engagement and development in the lead up to COP 29 and the expected role for Australia and the Pacific as hosts of this critical meeting.
What do volunteer lawyers and the Pacific Islands’ first UNESCO Global Geopark have to do with climate change? Watch this recording of our virtual event to find out.