Jessica Lawrence is a staff scientist with the International program.
Jessica received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Vassar College and a Master of Ecosystem Studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and daughter.
I grew up in Ontario and Vermont exploring rural landscapes. I was trained as an ecologist and have worked extensively in conservation of forests in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Prior to working at Earthjustice, I was the executive director of The Borneo Project, a non-profit supporting community-based conservation in Malaysian Borneo. I worked with an Iban Dayak community to make a documentary video of their struggle, Rumah Nor: A Land Rights Test for Malaysia. As a forest campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, I documented how U.S. retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s import illegally logged plywood from Borneo’s rainforests. I have also worked with Smartwood/Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council on forestry certification assessments, standard-setting, and chain of custody monitoring in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cameroon, Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
Conservation is a never-ending process—but without strong legal systems for participation, transparency and accountability, it becomes nearly impossible. That’s why I joined Earthjustice in 2008. I enjoy supporting the International program in building stronger legal systems for biodiversity protection in countries where local attorneys and communities are requesting assistance. I have particularly enjoyed working with the international campaign to protect the headwaters of the transboundary Flathead River from coal mining and gas drilling.
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.