EJF'S MISSION IS TO PROTECT PEOPLE AND PLANET
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is a UK-based non-profit organisation working internationally to protect the environment and defend human rights. EJF is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 1088128).
EJF was founded in 2000 by Steve Trent and Juliette Williams who remain the charity’s Directors, and who today work with an international team based in the UK, Spain, Germany, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Our work is guided and overseen by a UK Board of Trustees and supported by our Patrons who help our campaigns to reach new international audiences.
EJF has worked in some of the world's toughest, most remote and difficult countries, securing change for vulnerable communities, wildlife and wild places.
EJF’s work aims to be direct and effective, from investigations, field projects and community partnerships to policy briefings and reports, campaign films and international advocacy that reach the highest levels of policy making in government, business and amongst the public.
EJF has worked in some of the world's toughest, most remote and difficult countries, securing change for vulnerable communities, wildlife and wild places. We have initiated campaigns that have led to governments addressing their use of forced child labour and human trafficking, to national and global bans on deadly pesticides, to the arrests of illegal 'pirate' fishing trawlers in West Africa and secured protection for unique coastal forests in Brazil. EJF's work is targeted, direct and effective in persuading action to protect our shared planet.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
EJF believes that environmental security is not just about quality of life, it is a basic human right.
For millions of people around the world, the result of a degraded environment is hunger, brutal poverty and vulnerability. Environmental degradation and the loss of precious natural resources including forests, fisheries, clean water and land has disproportionate impacts on the world’s poorest, marginalised and disempowered communities, that lack a voice for their concerns.
We believe that environmental security is not just about quality of life, it is a basic human right.
EJF works on grassroots issues that are off the radar; we work in remote and difficult countries, often post-conflict, where protecting the environment is about securing the peace dividend, building greater equity and good environmental governance.
Protecting the environment is more than conservation, it is about equity, securing a fairer future and justice for those who need it most.
WHAT WE DO
EJF’s global campaigns, programmes and projects focus on issues of environmental justice which have a link to international demand or government policies, and where international attention and action can secure change for good.
Today, our work focuses on protecting the world’s seas and oceans by exposing illegal ‘pirate’ fishing and exploitation in the seafood industry; highlighting the dangers of toxic pesticides and promoting viable organic alternatives; and exposing the impacts of our changing global climate on the most vulnerable people on our planet.
Underpinning our international advocacy are the partnerships we create with environmental and human rights defenders and with communities working tirelessly to protect the natural resources that they depend upon. We want to leave a lasting impact by building local capacity to document, expose and peacefully overcome threats to their local environment.
WHY OUR WORK IS DIFFERENT
When the idea of EJF was born, it was to protect the natural environment and the people and wildlife that depend upon it by linking environmental security, human rights and social need. By looking at environmental security through a human rights perspective, we can mobilise wider concern and support and achieve our shared goals.
We also knew that as campaigners based in the UK, we have easy access to tools and technology including video cameras and GPS that can be used to gather irrefutable visual evidence that can then be used to influence decision makers and secure their support. Yet few organisations impart their campaign experience, expertise or even provide support to enable environmental defenders in the Global South to also excel. By providing bespoke training and support, together with equipment that would otherwise be unaffordable, we are able to give other campaigners the same opportunities as we have, and a stronger voice for their concerns.
"I'm proud to support the Environmental Justice Foundation which tackles some of the root causes of environmental and human rights abuses around the world."
“EJF gets the job done with unparalleled efficiency, makes the most incredibly effective use of very small budgets and punches way above its weight.”
Katharine Hamnett CBE
“EJF continues to inspire and invigorate me. It’s great to know such a force for good is out there and getting results, whether that means banning a toxic pesticide or helping a community patrol its waters. What is so striking about EJF is the way that, again and again, they find neat solutions to worldwide problems that involve local people – and bring them tangible benefit to their everyday lives.”
“I support the work of the Environmental Justice Foundation to raise awareness and provide ‘real world’ solutions to the issue. Their efforts to engage in effective action protects both people and planet.”
THE EJF TEAM
With a team of over 30 in two continents, EJF continues to be led by Founder and Executive Director, Steve Trent. Steve Trent, Executive Director, has 25 years of experience of environmental advocacy. Steve has undertaken field research and undercover investigations, and trained environmental advocates in many countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Vietnam. Since founding EJF, Steve has pioneered campaigns on oceans conservation and governance, ending forced labour in cotton production in Uzbekistan, protecting human rights in seafood production, and reducing the impacts of toxic pesticides on people and wildlife. Steve has presented evidence to national governments, including the US Department of State, European Commission and Parliament, UN agencies and the World Bank. He has influenced business policies and built international coalitions to end environmental and human rights abuses. Steve has also been at the forefront of developing EJF’s income, including from innovative and creative sources; Steve was behind the development of the 2001 ArtAction auction that raised over £550,000 for the charity, and the t-shirt project, which has raised over £300,000 for EJF’s work over the past 6 years.
Working with Steve are Juliette Williams, a co-founding Director who leads on administration and fundraising, an Office and Finance Manager, and Executive Assistant.
EJF employs campaigners and researchers on each of the programmes and the team is supported by our field and programme staff in West Africa; programme and campaign staff are also employed in Berlin and Madrid. We are proud to have a seagoing vessel in Sierra Leone and a team that undertakes at-sea research and monitoring of illegal fishing by foreign industrial trawlers, and the liaison with the local fishing communities and promotion of more ecologically sensitive and sustainable fishing methods. The work undertaken by EJF teams in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana is overseen by a West Africa Project Coordinator. In the UK, EJF’s external communications and media are coordinated by our Communications Coordinator, who oversees a team which produces our investigative and campaign films, provides video and camera training to partners, and creates our website, reports and designs in-house.
“The Environmental Justice Foundation has been a help for us. They put pressure on the EU and pressurised the government to make foreign vessels leave the sea.”
Secretary to the Inshore Fisheries Association of Elmina, Ghana
“I thank EJF for their work with community surveillance, fighting the trawlers who steal our fish…They are helping to improve the lives of fisherfolk and giving a sense of worth back to the fishing industry in the area.”
Councillor Solomon Lamboi,
former Chairman of Bonthe Municipal Council’s Standing Committee on Fisheries and Marine Resources