2014 Environmental Law Scholarship Awards

The IUCN Academy is pleased to announce the recipients of the Academy’s 2014 Environmental Law Scholarship Awards.   The winners were announced during the Academy’s 12th Annual Colloquium held in Tarragona, Spain on July 4, 2014 and the Awards were presented by Professor Nilufer Oral, Chair of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

Scholarship Awards

The IUCN Academy’s annual scholarship award competition is to recognize outstanding publications and other scholarly achievements by individuals in its member institutions.

Professor Wang Xi

The 2014 Senior Scholar Award was presented to Professor Wang Xi of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in the Peoples’ Republic of China.


The following excerpts regarding the academic work of the recipients are taken from the speech of Professor Carmen Gonzalez (University of Seattle School of Law), Co-Chair of the Research Committee, during the Awards Ceremony.

The reviewers described Professor Wang’s achievements as follows:

Professor Wang Xi is a global leader in environmental law scholarship. He has built up a formidable international and national reputation in the field.  This is obvious from his publications in both Chinese and English, as well as his contributions to the reform of environmental law in China at the central and provincial level.

[In the past five years], Professor Wang Xi has authored and edited five significant books and 25 significant articles with national and international impact.  Perhaps his most significant book was Environmental Law in China, which is the definitive treaties on Chinese environmental law, with very frank assessments of the laws’ strengths and weaknesses.  It is a very thorough and thoughtful presentation, a text used around the world. . . . Professor Wang Xi is an extraordinarily productive and effective scholar whose work has influenced policy significantly in China and internationally.”

The reviewer goes on to provide a very lengthy list of the environmental law journals on which Professor Wang Xi serves as editor and of the international collaborations which he has spearheaded.

“Professor Wang Xi is well known for his research and teaching collaboration with scholars in the United States, Canada and Australia, as well as in Europe.  Within China, he has directed a wide range of legal research projects, including on climate change, wetlands, nature reserves, renewable energy, water resources, and solid wastes, on the basis of grants.”

Finally, one of his reviewers notes his contributions to the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law:

Wang Xi has been associated with the IUCN Academy since before its official launch. In 2003, he organized the first Academy Colloquium through his Environment and Resources Law Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.  That Colloquium was the stimulus for a greater concentration of scholarship in the field of environmental law in China, and in Chinese environmental law by scholars outside. It no doubt was also a factor in the expansion of the Chinese institutional membership of the Academy to what it is today.  Wang Xi has been a member of the Academy’s Governing Board for several years and has made important contributions also in that regard.”

Dr. Cameron Holley

The winner for this year’s Emerging Scholar Award given to an academic with less than 10 years academic experience is Dr. Cameron Holley of the University of New South Wales in Australia.

dr cameron holley

The reviewers for Dr. Holley described his work as follows:

Cameron Holley’s scholarly output of the past five to ten years speaks of original, high quality and innovative environmental law and governance research.  His PhD and subsequent research (a total of 18 publications and several forthcoming) blend interdisciplinary and empirical methodologies with traditional legal analysis in the fields of environmental law, regulation, and governance. . . .  As an early career academic, his publications received remarkable intellectual recognition if one considers the fact that his journal articles, books and other reports over the last five years have been cited more than 80 times in highly regarded and widely read scholarly journals.”

Another reviewer had this to say about Dr. Holley’s work:

In addition to the number of publications he has produced and grants he has been involved in (quite exceptional for a junior colleague) the strength of the work lies in the multi-faceted approach he has taken.  The empirical aspect, when of such high quality as Cameron’s, brings a much needed dimension to legal scholarship.  Too often environmental law researchers focus on desk-based studies, but Cameron has chosen to engage directly with the subjects of environmental law as well as the law-makers.  His work in the area of environmental law has broad application to many sub-fields.

In addition to his focus on international law and global governance, his country-specific research spans a number of jurisdictions, including Australia, New Zealand, Russia, the United States, and Indonesia.  It is evident from Cameron’s publications, collaborative research activities and international conference invitations that his scholarship is as relevant for academics, practitioners and governments in other parts of the world as it is for those working in Australia.”

The Academy congratulates Professor Wang and Dr. Holley for their distinguished achievements.