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Judge Christopher Weeramantry, former Vice President of the International Court of Justice, closed the 13th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law with reflections on the importance of deeply-held environmental values as the foundations of sustainability. Expressing profound personal concern about nuclear impacts, he further encouraged younger scholars and the next generation of students to continue to promote the foundations of environmental law. Judge Weeramantry’s remarks were among many challenging and inspiring presentations at the Atma Jaya University conference on Forest and Marine Biodiversity held in Jakarta, September 7-12.

The proceedings began with a symposium on “Forest Values in the Global Economy,” with presentations and discussions oriented around the recently a recently-published volume on International Environmental Law and the Global South (Cambridge UP, 2015). The authors - Shawkat Alam, Sumudu Atapattu, Carmen Gonzalez and Jona Razzaque, shared their observations and analysis with a significant gathering of scholars and researchers from IUCN Academy member institutions.

A comparable event later in the week addressed “Trans-regional Comparative Lessons in Pursuit of Sustainable Development” with reference to another new work under the editorship of Werner Scholtz and Johathan Verschuuren. Regional Environmental Law(Edward Elgar, 2015) is one of many works of collaborative environmental law scholarship emerging from relationships that have been fostered through the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law network.  

The Academy also hosted the launch of the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations which were presented for discussion by rapporteur Jaap Spier

The core program of the Atma Jaya Colloquium featured about 150 plenary and panel presentations examining legal dimensions of forest and marine biodiversity and conservation. Participants addressed subjects ranging from the contribution of international conventions such as Ramsar and CITES, through regional and national responses to habitat and species loss, as well as the strengths and limitations of economic instruments now in widespread use. Keynote statements by Justice Hilario Davide of the Philippines and environmental advocate Tony Oposa underscored the contribution of litigation and legal institutions in environmental defence.

The Indonesian context provided a valuable setting for in-depth discussion of the country’s experience of deforestation and the vulnerability of marine life. In welcoming the opportunity to host the international colloquium, Dean Yanti Fristikawati of Atma Jaya Catholic University noted that “it is very worthwhile for Indonesian environmental researchers to exchange with scholars from around the world, especially in relation to challenging issues like environmental enforcement.”

As is customary within the IUCN Academy framework, considerable emphasis was placed on educational initiatives in the field of environmental law. Thus, a workshop on best practices was held under the direction of the Teaching and Capacity Building Committee chaired by Professor Sophie Riley (University of Technology Sydney) and Professor Maria Marques (University of Rovira i Virgili). Participants discussed subjects ranging from clinical legal education, through a newly-developed on-line course on the law and policy of protected areas as well as an initiative to provide training opportunities for teachers of environmental law in developing countries. In addition, Eva Duer of UNEP’s Division of Environmental Law and Conventions introduced the overall InforMEA (Multilateral Environmental Agreement) program to conference participants and highlighted InforMEA’s E-Learning Platform. InforMEA’s e-learning platform was subsequently the principal focus for the annual Graduate Student Forum.

Colloquium proceedings will be produced under the editorial guidance of Ed Couzens, Yanti Fristikawati, Sandy Paterson and Sophie Riley.

The Environment in Court: Environmental Protection in national and international courts, tribunals, and compliance mechanisms is the theme of the 14th Annual IUCNAEL Colloquium to be held in Oslo, 20-25 June 2016. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, a global network of environmental law faculties and research centres with some 200 institutional members in approximately sixty countries, promotes academic exchange, research, and teaching in the varied fields of environmental law. It is the Vision of the Academy “to build sustained capacity in legal education and advance conceptual understanding and implementation of environmental law, particularly in developing countries.”

For further information about the Academy and its activities see  or, contact Professor Jamie Benidickson or Professor Yves Le Bouthillier, Executive Directors, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.