SA eco-lawyer in world’s top 301

Tamara O’Reilly

South African Cormac Cullinan has been named one of the world’s 301 most influential environmentalists for his pioneering work in environmental law.

Cullinan has been named in Planet Savers: 301 Extraordinary Environmentalists, a book released in London earlier this month, as one of the people who have made significant contributions to the environment.

He is the founder of EnAct International, London-based environmental law and policy consultancy. His work includes drafting the Integrated Coastal Management Bill, waste legislation for KwaZulu-Natal and laws governing sustainable land use in the Western Cape.

Written by Kevin Desmond, Planet Savers brings together stories of people who have spoken up throughout history and taken action to defend the world from pollution, deforestation, species loss and climate change.

Others on the list include Sir David Attenborough, the world renowned nature documentary maker, and charismatic environmentalist Vandana Shiva.

Environmental law deals with the protection of certain aspects of nature from the effects of human activity, like chemicals entering the water network. Laws protecting endangered species fall in this category, as does the Kyoto Protocol, ratified by more than 170 countries who agreed to do their part to reduce greenhouse gases.

As director of Winstanley & Cullinan, the country’s first environmental law firm, Cullinan is an expert on international and South African environmental law and policy and acts for a wide range of public sector, private sector and non-governmental organisations.

Cullinan is also the author of Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, published in 2003, which argues that nature has equivalent rights to human beings.

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