IUCN Partnership

IUCN Conference in Hawaii

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Through the Center for Environmental Legal Studies (CEL), the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has been a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 1982.  The IUCN is the world’s largest conservation network; the Union brings together 170 countries, 90 States, 133 government agencies, more than 1,120 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some 16,000 scientists and experts in a unique worldwide partnership, including legal specialists in the World Commission for Environmental Law. The Union’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

Global Pact for the Environment

On December 10, 2018, Professor Nicholas Robinson organized and moderated an event at the United Nations - Strengthening Implementation of International Environmental Law - Commentaries on the UN Secretary General's Report on International Environmental Law for the "Global Pact for the Environment".  Held in response to the Secretary General’s first report ever on the state of international environmental law published on December 3, 2018 (A/73/419), this event featured numerous renowned experts in the field and on the topic. Panelists included: Roy S. Lee: (Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization), Claudia de Windt (senior legal advisor, Organization of American States), John C. Cruden (former Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division), and Yann Aguila (partner at Bredin Prat and former member of the French supreme administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, France). Opening remarks were given by Permanent Representative of France François Delattre and Deputy Permanent Representative of Senegal Abdoulaye Barro. Click here to learn more about the event and click here to access a comprehensive note on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Report, “Gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments: towards a global pact for the environment”.

IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law

The IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) is a network of environmental law and policy experts from all regions of the world who volunteer their knowledge and services to IUCN activities. Professor Nicholas Robinson has served as Chair of IUCN WCEL and an ex-officio member of the WCEL Executive Committee. Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger is Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Specialist Group. Other Pace Law faculty, staff, and students provide help to IUCN WCEL as needed.

IUCN World Conservation Congress

As an active voting member of IUCN, CEL sends a delegation to IUCN’s World Conservation Congress (Congress), which occurs every four years and attracts thousands of registrants from around the world with the purpose of networking, educating, and setting policy for the organization and its members.  Hundreds of events and workshops occur during the Congress, making it one of the world’s most dynamic environmental conferences.  Pace Law students, faculty and alumni prepare Motions for Resolutions of the Congress, participate in the Members Assembly and present workshops. The CEL delegation to the Congress has been led by a law student.

In conjunction with the 2016 Congress, Pace Law held an international law moot court focused on intergenerational climate justice and the international law response to the global climate crisis.

At the 2012 World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Republic of Korea, Pace Law hosted a "Conservation Campus" on environmental adjudication. You can watch the workshops on IUCN's YouTube site. In addition, the Global Center for the Environmental Legal Studies hosted a workshop on Giving Force to Conservation Laws: Environmental Adjudication.

IUCN Academy of Environmental Law

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law has played a key role in the development of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. Professor Nicholas Robinson led the effort to establish the Academy during his tenure as Chair of IUCN WCEL and later served as Chair of the Academy. The Academy is rooted in the 1992 “Earth Summit’s” call in Agenda 21 (Chapter 8) for universities to advance legal education for integrating environment and development. In 1998, IUCN members requested that IUCN WCEL develop a network of university law faculties to strengthen environmental legal education worldwide. IUCN formally authorized the concept of an Academy of Environmental Law at the Second World Conservation Congress in 2000 and gave its final approval for the Academy in December 2002.

The Academy (autonomous from but in coordination with IUCN) is a global learned society dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ways in which law promotes a just society that values and conserves nature. The Academy convenes international colloquia every year; the Elisabeth Haub School of Law hosted the fourth colloquium, entitled “Toward More Effective Implementation of Environmental Law: Compliance and Enforcement” in October 2006. The colloquium drew more than 220 participants from 47 countries and 65 universities. Pace Law faculty, students, and alumni speak at the colloquium each year. The annual proceeding of the Academy appears as a book currently published by Edward Elgar, and for the first 4 years by Cambridge University Press.

During the 2016 Colloquium in Oslo, Norway, the Academy approved the Maryland-Pace Environmental Law Alliance to take on the Secretariat position and carry out the affairs of the Academy.

Watch a video about the IUCN Academy produced by our partner, Maryland Carey Law, and featuring Professor Nicholas Robinson.