The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law is a world-wide network of over 170 universities (in over 50 countries) and research institutions teaching and pursuing research in environmental law. It was launched in 2003 with the support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at its first Colloquium held in Shanghai, China. Since then, the Academy has held colloquia in Nairobi, Kenya (2004); Sydney, Australia (2005); White Plains, New York, USA (2006); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007); Mexico City, Mexico (2008); Wuhan, China (2009); Ghent, Belgium (2010); Eastern Cape, South Africa (2011), Baltimore, Maryland, USA (2012), Hamilton, New Zealand (2013). Our 12th Colloquium will be held at Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain from June 30th to July 5th, 2014. 

The Academy was established to support the development of environmental law and policy on a global scale. The Academy is under the direction of a ten member Governing Board, representing environmental law scholars elected from the ten regions of the world. The Secretariat of the IUCN Academy was established in 2006 and is supported by the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Law. In addition to working closely with the environmental law faculty, the IUCN Academy is well positioned to foster linkages amongst law schools in Canada and globally.

The Academy focuses on:

  • The development and delivery of programs aimed at building university-level teaching capacity in environmental law.
  • The generation of global research programs with major partners to feed into international environmental law and policy agendas.
  • The convening of major international conferences and exchanges.

Our annual colloquium is the collaborative efforts of the Academy, law schools, leading environmental law scholars and experts around the world.  Our past colloquia addressed some of the most urgent issues related to environmental law such as:  The Law of Energy for Sustainable Development; Human Habitats and Land Stewardship; Biodiversity: Bridging the Divide;  Compliance and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements; Rio+15: A Legal Critique of Ecologically Sustainable Development ; Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Protection; Environmental Governance and Sustainability; Linkages Between Biodiversity and Climate Change; Water and the Law: Towards Sustainability.   An important outcome of each of these global conferences has been the publication and wide dissemination of the papers delivered at these landmark events.

The Academy also promotes various activities to enhance the capacities in environmental legal education in universities and related institutions, focusing on developing countries and economies in transition. These activities include the preparation of environmental law curricula and the conduct of “training the trainers” programs. 

IUCN award

 The Academy is the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy in 2011 awarded by the American Bar Association. 

The website of the Academy can be accessed at  There are a range of resources that can be accessed including our Environmental Law Library of the Earth and a Directory of Scholars in environmental law from around the globe.

The Secretariat is supported by both the Common Law and Civil Law sections of the Faculty of Law. The Directors are Professor Jamie Benidickson and Professor Yves le  Our Manager is Winnie Carruth and our Administrative Assistant is Natacha Segasayo (see photo).  The Secretariat is located on the 5th floor of Fauteux.

IUCN secretariat

Left to right: Yves Le Bouthillier, Winnie Carruth, Natacha Segasayo, Jamie Benidickson

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