2016 Environmental Law Scholarship Awards

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Scholarship Awards for Senior and Emerging scholars recognize publications including academic books (edited or authored), journal articles and book chapters, as well as commissioned policy reports and studies of research value in any language. Consideration may also be given to other scholarly activities, such as organizing academic conferences and workshops, building collaborative research networks, and other innovations that advance research in environmental law.

The 2016 Scholarship Award winners are announced below.

Senior Scholarship Award: Lakshman Guruswamy

Lakshman was born in Sri Lanka, and is currently the Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) Law School. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in International Environmental and Global Energy Law with a very long career promoting energy justice and access to clean energy. Lakshman is an active researcher in the field of energy, poverty and socio-environmental justice and built the CU Center for Energy and Environmental Security. Prior to joining CU, he taught in Sri Lanka, the UK, and the Universities of Iowa and Arizona.


Senior Scholarship Award: Lakshman Guruswamy


At CU he teaches International Environmental Law, Global Energy Justice, Oil and International Relations, and International Law. He is the director of international energy programs at the Getches-Wilkinson Center, and his research uses interdisciplinary frameworks to explore how and why energy justice calls for the fashioning of practical energy solutions, for the energy poor in the developing world. Lakshman is widely published, and is a frequent speaker at scholarly meetings in the US and around the world. He is the author of Global Energy Justice: Law and Policy (West, 2016), International Energy and Poverty: The Emerging Frontiers (Routledge, 2015), International Environmental Law in a Nutshell (4d ed. 2012), and the co-author of International Environmental Law and World Order (2nd. 1999), Biological Diversity: Converging Strategies (1998), Arms Control and the Environment (2001). The 5th edition of International Environmental Law in a Nutshell, is due in 2017.

Emerging Scholarship Award: Usha Natarajan

Usha is an Assistant Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Dr Natarajan’s research challenges dominant understandings of the relationship between law and the environment through postcolonial and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Her work explores the cultural milieu from which international law emerged, contending that nature was central to shaping foundational international law concepts such as sovereignty, jurisdiction, property, human rights, and development.


Emerging Scholarship Award: Usha Natarajan


Dr. Natarajan views Third World approaches to international environmental law as a strategic site for scholars and practitioners from the South to resist dominant harmful development paradigms. She has published widely on these issues and convened scholars in global collaborative research projects. Her ongoing Locating Nature project on critical approaches to international environmental law has brought together a network of scholars and generated a series of workshops, conferences, and publications. In 2015, Dr. Natarajan led the convening of the first TWAIL Conference in the global South after two decades of meeting in the North. TWAIL Cairo was the largest gathering of TWAIL scholars to date.

Emerging Scholarship Award: Peter Burdon


Emerging Scholarship Award:Peter Burdon


Peter is an Associate Professor at the Adelaide Law School and deputy chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Ethics Specialist Group. His research uses interdisciplinary materials from sociology, political science, economics, philosophy, jurisprudence, history and environmental studies. The main focus of his research is the environmental crisis and how human society might transition their laws, governance structures and social relations so that they support the health and integrity of the planet. He also research’s legal theory and political philosophy. At present, he is writing a book on Hannah Arendt and the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. His research uses interdisciplinary materials from sociology, political science, economics, philosophy, jurisprudence, history and environmental studies.