Tuesday, March 26, 2002

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Jehan El-Jourbagy, 706/353-2883 James Reap, 404/656-5418


ATHENS, Ga. - A four-day (April 2-5) international symposium, Conservation-Hertitage-Law 2002 will examine the consequences of growth and sprawl on world cultural, historic and natural resources with the goal to provide preservation, conservation and law professionals with an unique opportunity to establish comprehensive solutions to these issues. Conservation-Heritage-Law 2002 is the result of a partnership between the University of Georgia Environmental Law Association's annual Red Clay Conference and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The symposium will feature regional, national and international speakers on topics including: natural and cultural resource valuation, transferable development rights, biodiversity conservation, defending the Antiquities Act, education and training on heritage conservation law, the 1954 Hague Convention, conservation easements and land use, and environmental negotiation.

There will be speakers from six continents. Key speakers include: Jadran Antolovi?, Croatia's Deputy Minister of Culture; Gerry Cohn, director of America Farmland Trust's Southeast Regional Office; Rose Cruz-Angeles of the Philippines' National Commission for Culture and the Arts; Jan Hladik of UNESCO; John Leshy, former solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior and assistant to Secretary Bruce Babbitt for legal affairs; Mona Makram-Ebied of the United Nations' Evaluation Team on Capacity Building and Environment Assessing; Lez Ramirez, former White House fellow; Autumn Rierson of the U.S. National Trust for Historic Preservation; Suzi Ruhl of the Legal Environmental Assistance Fund; Jorge Soberón, executive secretary of Mexico's National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity; Werner von Trützschler, president of ICOMOS' Legal Committee; and Chris Williams of the World Wildlife Fund.

Symposium directors James Reap (ICOMOS) and Jehan El-Jourbagy (Red Clay) view the partnership between their groups as an opportunity to enhance each other's program while simultaneously broadening the focus of the symposium. Reap said cultural and environmental resources are inextricably tied together. "Growth and sprawl consumes natural resources. If society preserves and reuses existing infrastructure, it will reduce urban sprawl and the expansion of existing landfills."

While the conference will open at Georgia State University on April 2, the remaining three days of activities will be held at the University of Georgia campus. Admission is free for UGA, GSU and Savannah College of Art and Design faculty, staff and students. There is a $50 registration fee for the general public and an additional $100 charge for those wanting continuing legal education credit. Pre-registration is requested and can be done at the symposium's Web site, www.uga.edu/icomos. A detailed agenda can also be found on this site.

The symposium will be hosted by the UGA law school's Dean Rusk Center -- International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies in collaboration with the School of Environmental Design and the Institute of Ecology.