Public Interest Environmental Conference

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20th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference

Thank you for attending the 2014 Public Interest Environmental Conference Feeding the Future: Shrinking Resources, Growing Population and a Warming Planet! This year we had over 200 attendees and the conference was a great success due to the participation of dedicated citizens like you.

The 20th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference was approved for 15.0 General CLE credits and 1.0 Ethics CLE credit. Attendees may report their CLE credits online at www.floridabar.org using the course number 1400868N.

We are proud to announce that our event received the highest level of sustainable event certification from UF Office of Sustainability. We appreciate your efforts to help us reach our goals!

Click here to download the 2014 PIEC agenda

What is the Public Interest Environmental Conference?

For twenty years the Public Interest Environmental Conference (PIEC) has sought to promote an understanding of the legal aspects of environmental protection, to serve to inform individuals as to the necessity for improvements in environmental legal protection, to foster the development of sound environmental legislation, measure the effects of environmental litigation, and to assist other groups involved in environmental education. The conference brings together legal practitioners, academics, policy makers, and private citizens to discuss preeminent issues surrounding a different environmental topic each year. In addition, the PIEC invites prominent environmental advocates to address these issues. Such speakers include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Carol Browner, and Robert Sokolow.

More Information About This Year's Conference

The most recent revision to the U.N.’s global population projection has the Earth’s population peaking at just over ten billion by the year 2100. This represents around a 40% increase in the number of people that need to be fed, yet even now, 66% of the world’s population is malnourished according to the World Health Organization. At the same time we are rapidly losing arable soils, around 10 million hectares (approximately .7% of the world’s cropland) annually, according to the 2013 Trade and Environment Review compiled by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Soil erosion reduces the productivity of agricultural and forest ecosystems and hurts wildlife diversity, which further marginalizes our ability to weather threats posed by population growth and climate change. Increased industrial and municipality demands on water sources as well as increased prevalence of minimum flow requirements for surface water systems will further constrain available water resources for agricultural producers. This will necessitate the development of increased water-use efficiencies concurrently with increased agricultural productivity. At the same time agricultural producers are finding themselves squeezed by escalating input costs and never ending downward price pressure being pushed by powerful food retailers and processors that command considerable influence over prices. These diminishing margins leave many agricultural producers with few options to develop sustainable farming practices as they struggle to hang onto their farms.

Whether you are a large commercial agricultural producer, own a small family farm, are an attorney, or are a regular citizen these issues will affect all of us. As a developed nation situated in an area that contains an abundance of natural resources and arable land, the United States is in a great position to develop, implement and propagate agricultural practices, policies and technologies that can ensure stable, sufficient food production capable of weathering the previously-mentioned looming storms. That is why it is incumbent upon us to bring together diverse perspectives in order to foster healthy discussions and pool our collective human and intellectual capital to find timely, beneficial solutions to these issues.

Please join us this year for the 20th annual PIEC as we explore a variety of legal and environmental issues surrounding these challenges including: incentivizing resource-efficient agricultural production, valuing the environmental services sustainable agricultural production can provide, technological frontiers in agriculture, and examining the role patent protections can, or should, play in developing new agricultural products.


Scholarship Information

Scholarships for the Public Interest Environmental Conference are made possible by a generous donation from the Jelks Family Foundation. The scholarship includes waiver of the registration fee for the conference.

To apply, please complete this form and email to the PIEC Registration Chair, Melissa Fedenko at mfedenko@ufl.edu

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 31, 2014.

Contact Us

Conference Chairs

Christopher Johns
Co-Chair, PIEC 2014
Levin College of Law, J.D. Candidate 2015
ufscoot@ufl.edu

Gentry Mander
Co-Chair, PIEC 2014
Levin College of Law, J.D. Candidate 2014
gmander@ufl.edu

Past Conferences

View the 2013 PIEC Program

Thank you for attending the 2013 Public Interest Environmental Conference! This year we had over 200 attendees and the conference was a great success due to the participation of dedicated citizens and academics like you. The 19th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference was approved for 13.0 General CLE credits and 1.0 Ethics CLE credit. Attendees may report their CLE credits online at www.floridabar.org using the course number 1200184N.

Click here for more information about the 2013 conference.

Eco-Run Information

PIEC and GreenLAW thank those of you who joined us for the Eco-Run 5K Fun Run/Walk fundraiser, benefiting the 2014 Public Interest Environmental Conference.
© 2014 University of Florida Levin College of Law, 309 Village Drive Gainesville, FL 32611
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