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The International Union for Conservation of Nature Academy of Environmental Law (IUCN Academy) received the twelfth annual American Bar Association (ABA) Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. The international achievement award was presented on August 7, 2011 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario.

IUCN_2011_copyThe award was established to honour significant achievements of institutions and individuals responsible for major contributions in the field of environmental law and policy. The international award recognizes outstanding accomplishments resulting in significant improvements in substance, understanding, or process of environmental laws and policies. “It’s hard to imagine a more encouraging endorsement of the early accomplishments of the IUCN Academy, “ said Jamie Benidickson, Professor, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law and Director, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. “The ABA award will energize collaborative efforts on the part of environmental law faculty in the developed and developing worlds to move the IUCN Academy’s research, teaching and policy initiatives to the next level.”

Membership of the IUCN Academy represents 149 law faculties and research centres teaching and pursuing research in environmental law in all regions of the world. The organization, with its Secretariat housed at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, has held environmental law conferences in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Australia focusing on a range of topics, notably climate change, biofuels, water, and policy development for protected areas.

The IUCN Academy was nominated due to its outstanding record of initiative and accomplishment in fostering collaboration, research, and learning in environmental law on an international stage. It was nominated by Alexandra Dunn, Assistant Dean, Environmental Law Program and Adjunct Professor, Pace University.

“This award by the ABA is a deeply-appreciated recognition for the efforts of the many people who have shared the vision of an international network to advance teaching and research in environmental law, including the members of the founding Board which was led by Professor Nick Robinson from 2003-2008, “ said Rob Fowler, Chair of the IUCN Academy, “To those who now serve on our Governing Board and various sub-committees voluntarily, to those at our host institution, the University of Ottawa, who have provided exceptional support to the Academy, and finally to our many enthusiastic members across the globe, this award serves as an inspiration to keep pursuing this shared vision. We have much that we still hope to achieve but we are deeply grateful for this recognition by the ABA of our efforts to this stage.”