Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

Can Environmental Policy Mitigate Natural Disasters?

Contact: Michael Larkin
(212) 636-7175

NEW YORK — In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in South Asia, Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) will host a panel discussion titled “Investing in the Environment, Protecting Communities from Natural Disasters,” on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the 12th-floor lounge of the Lowenstein Center on the Lincoln Center campus.

A panel of experts will examine how better investment in the environment prior to these disasters could have saved lives and minimized damage. They will also explore what environmental policies could aid rebuilding efforts and help to mitigate future natural disasters.

The panelists for the event are: Annie Maxwell, chief of staff of Direct Relief International, and a member of the U.N. Office of the Special Envoy of Tsunami Response; Greg Acker, director of building programs at Rebuilding Community International; and Erik Olsen, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Sanjayan, lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, will moderate the discussion.

TIME:        5:30 P.M.
                 LOWENSTEIN CENTER
                 LINCOLN CENTER CAMPUS
                 113 WEST 60TH STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, visit

The panel discussion kicks off a four-part lecture series, “People and the Environment: The Role of the Environment in Poverty Alleviation,” sponsored by GSAS, in cooperation with the Equator Initiative program of the United Nations Development Programme and the Nature Conservancy. The lecture series is intended to establish a dialogue and information exchange among policy-makers, indigenous peoples and their advocates, academics, business leaders, authors, and the general public.

Upcoming events in the series are: “Educating Future Leaders to Meet Poverty Alleviation Goals,” on March 9; “Legal Empowerment of the Poor,” on April 5; and “Planning for Poverty Alleviation as a National Policy,” on May 9. To learn more about these lectures, or to make a reservation, visit

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 15,800 students in its five undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Tarrytown, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y. 

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