For those interested in a career in the natural resources and environmental fields (and the two are more interlinked today than ever before), attending the meetings of the RMMLF represents an enormous professional opportunity.
A quick glance at this year's program topics indicates why this group should be on the radar screen of all environmental and natural resources professionals regardless of where they live in the world or what their practice speciality entails:
- "Resource Development: The Key Role of Law and Institutions."
- "Allocation of Profits to Communities From Mining and Oil and Gas Operations."
- "Economic Basis of Latin American Mining Regimes."
- "Recent Trends and New Developments in Latin American Mine Project Finance."
- "Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights."
- "Nationalization of Oil and Gas Enterprises: New Trends and Strategies."
- "Oil and Gas Reform/New Trends in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela."
- "Mining and Ecosystems Preservation."
Moreover, the conference provided attendees the opportunity to learn from as well as rub shoulders with the "best and the brightest" of the mining and oil and gas sectors. Just a few of the notables:
- Scot Anderson, Davis Graham and Stubbs, Denver
- Robert Bassett, Holland & Hart, Denver
- Michael Bourassa, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Toronto
- Luke Danielson, Sustainable Development Strategies, Gunnison, Colorado
- Florencia Heredia, HOLT Abogados, Buenos Aires
- Luis Carlos Rodrigo Prado, of Estudio Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano, Lima
- Paul Schlauch, Holland & Hart, Denver
What the RMMLF talks about might be surprising for those not familiar with the group. In addition to learning about the "nuts and bolts" of the sector, one is also apt to hear discussion about how these industries simply must improve their relations with communities in which they operate, the need for a more "sustainable approach" to extraction-based projects, and the need for a well-defined and enforced system of environmental standards.
The RMMLF, which is the premier natural resources educational organization of its type in the world, was founded in the late 1950s. The current president is David E. Pierce (on the right in the photo), a well known oil and gas expert and law professor at the Washburn University School of Law. David P. Phillips (on the left) is executive director of the RMMLF. Don C. Smith, director of DU's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Graduate Program (middle), attended the event and chaired a panel discussion on Oil and Gas Reforms and Trends.
The next major event for the RMMLF is the 55th Annual Meeting, which will be held July 23-25 in San Francisco.