IUCN establishes new global award named after Professor Nicholas A. Robinson

September 27, 2021
Nick Robinson

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Environmental Law has established a new global award for excellence in lifetime achievements furthering environmental law, named after Professor Nicholas A. Robinson. The Nicholas Robinson Award for Excellence in Environmental Law was announced at the July 2021 Inter-American Environmental Law Congress on Environmental Law in Mexico City. The Award honors individuals who have dedicated their careers toward advancing the environmental rule of law.

The inaugural recipients of the Award announced at the Mexico City Congress were Professor David Hunter of American University’s Washington College of Law and Justice Eládio Lecey of the Supreme Court of the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Following this, the Nicholas Robinson Award for Excellence in Environmental Law was conferred at the African Congress on Environmental Law in Rabat, Morocco, on Elizabeth Maruma Mrema who is currently the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Also receiving the Award at the African Congress was Professor Ali Mekour of the University of Casablanca in Morocco, who founded one of the world’s first environmental law school programs in the 1970s and who was formerly head of the FAO environmental law program.

“I am humbled that my lifetime of service to the IUCN, which began in 1970, is recognized through this Award bearing my name,” remarked Professor Nicholas A. Robinson. “The awardees, David Hunter, Justice Eládio Lecey, Elizabeth Mrema, and Ali Mekour are giants among environmental law pioneers. I am hopeful that this Award can encourage more environmentalists to continue to make a difference in the field and the world as we continue the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss, growing levels of pollution, and more.”

Professor Nicholas A. Robinson has developed environmental law since 1969, when he was named to the Legal Advisory Committee of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. He has practiced environmental law in law firms for municipalities and as general counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He drafted New York’s wetlands and wild bird laws and was inaugurated as the first chairman of both the statutory Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board and Greenway Heritage Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley. He has served as legal advisor and chairman of the Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, engaged in drafting treaties and counseling different countries on the preparation of their environmental laws. He founded Pace’s environmental law programs, edited the proceedings of the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is author of several books and numerous articles. Recently, Professor Robinson, (with Professor Narinder Kakar and Dr. Vesselin Popovski) co-edited the book Fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals: On a Quest for a Sustainable World, published in August 2021. On March 2009, the Pace University Board of Trustees conferred the position of University Professor for the Environment on Nicholas A. Robinson for his significant contribution to scholarship in the field of environmental law, both in the USA and abroad. At the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, Professor Robinson teaches a number of environmental law courses.

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organisations and the input of more than 18,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

About Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University offers JD and Masters of Law degrees in both Environmental and International Law, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. The school, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, N.Y., opened its doors in 1976 and has more than 9,000 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. Haub Law launched its Environmental Law Program in 1978, and it has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs, with a current #1 ranking by U.S. World and News Report. Pace’s doctoral graduates teach environmental law at universities around the world. Pace’s JD alumni are prominent in environmental law firms, agencies and non-profit organizations across the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, the Law School received a transformational gift from the family of Elisabeth Haub, in recognition of its outstanding environmental law programs. For more information about Haub Law, visit http://law.pace.edu

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