Founded in 1948, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network. Located in Gland, Switzerland, it brings governments, international organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs), local communities and private enterprises together to engage in research and field projects that will develop solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges.

The IUCN understood early on the role that law needed to play in the response to environmental challenges. In the early 1960s, the IUCN created the Commission of Environmental Law, comprised of individual experts from around the world who volunteer in the various specialist groups established by the Commission.

In 2003, recognizing the importance of promoting teaching and research in environmental law at the university level, the IUCN endorsed the idea of an Academy of Environmental Law at the First Colloquium in Shanghai, China.  Since then, the Academy has held 12th Annual Colloquia in different parts of the globe, in collaboration with our institutional members.

1st  Academy Annual Colloquium - Shanghai, China (2003)
2nd Academy Annual Colloquium - Nairobi, Kenya (2004)
3rd Academy Annual Colloquium - Sydney, Australia (2005)
4th Academy Annual Colloquium - White Plains, New York, U.S.A. (2006)
5th Academy Annual Colloquium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007)
6th Academy Annual Colloquium - Mexico City, Mexico (2008)
7th Academy Annual Colloquium - Wuhan, China (2009)
8th Academy Annual Colloquium - Ghent, Belgium (2010)
9th Academy Annual Colloquium  - Eastern Cape, South Africa (2011)
10th Academy Annual Colloquium - Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. (2012)
11th Academy Annual Colloquium - Hamilton, New Zealand (2013)
12th Academy Annual Colloquium - Tarragona, Spain (2014)
13th Academy Annual Colloquium - Jakarta, Indonesia (2015)
14th Academy Annual Colloquium - Oslo, Norway (2016)
15th Academy Annual Colloquium - Cebu, Philippines (2017)

The Secretariat of the IUCN Academy of Environmental was established at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 2006, acknowledging the institution’s dedication to environmental law.

In just over 12 years, the IUCN Academy has been able to attract institutional members from all over the world who are ready to collaborate at the global level. Its worldwide network is now comprised of more than 180 universities from 57 countries, with many from developing countries, enabling more than 800 environmental law professors and students to interact and to exchange knowledge, experience and resources.

The IUCN Academy operates with a license from the IUCN to use its name. The Academy is governed by a twelve-member Board. The members of the Board represent ten major regions of the world plus the Chair of the World Commission on Environmental Law and the Head of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme and together, provide direction for implementing the Academy’s vision and mission. The Board members provide a vital link to academic members, as well as government and community organizations in their respective regions, and provide essential input to membership development, the identification of new teaching and research initiatives and fostering fundraising efforts.