BELA started its journey in 1993 as an advocacy group in the field of environment. Since then, it has become an important change-maker in legal reform especially in the field of environmental justice and jurisprudence. Over the years, BELA has played a pioneering role in popularizing the concept of ‘environmental justice’ in the country, developing strategies to accord legal protection to people affected by environmental degradation.
The organization has adopted various means to create awareness about environmental laws and to activate responsible agencies in performing their legal duties. It was after a BELA-initiated case in 1997 that the Supreme Court of Bangladesh recognized the concept of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that enabled millions of voice-less people to access the formal justice system through representative civil society organizations (CSOs) and individual public-interested litigants.