Environmental Law Programme - Overview


IUCN Environmental Law Programme - Overview

The mission of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme (the ELP) is:

To advance sustainability through the development of legal and policy concepts and instruments, and through building the capacity of societies to develop and implement environmental law and policy, in furtherance of the IUCN Mission.

The Challenge

We live in a world where we are subject to environmental and economic effects that transcend national boundaries. Increasing globalisation has led to a greater recognition of the need to address many of these issues through a global or a regional approach.

Solid legal frameworks at all levels, supported by sound institutions that have a respect for the rule of law, are critical to achieving desired environmental objectives. The challenge ahead ranges from the need to develop the best possible international treaties and other agreements, right through to ensuring that each country has the capacity to effectively participate in the debate and to give effect to what is agreed.

The effective implementation of international treaties and other agreements will require each country to have the capacity to develop the necessary policies, legislation and institutions, and to have access to trained staff.

IUCN's Response to the Challenge

The ELP is an integrated programme of activities that assists decision makers with information, legal analysis, advisory services, legislative drafting, mentoring and capacity building at national, regional and global levels. The Programme also provides the opportunity and the forum for governments, non-government organisations and others to network and to share information and discuss ideas.

This vast Programme of activities is delivered through the collective efforts of the:

An Expanding Environmental Law Network

No other organisation can reach across the globe to offer such an extensive combination of expertise and experience as the ELP - the World's Environmental Law Network. The global network of environmental resources available to the ELP has been expanded to enhance our ability deliver on the Programme through the establishment of regional "centres of excellence", now known as "partner centres", and institutional partnerships.

Partner Centres

The Environmental Law Programme's (ELP) access to a global network of environmental resources has recently been expanded to include links to new regional partner centres, formerly known as "centres of excellence." With the strong support of the ELP, in particular through the Commission on Environmental Law, independent centres have now been established in:

In his formal presentation at the opening of ARCEL on 14 November 2001, former CEL Chair Professor Nicholas Robinson noted that the establishment of ARCEL was an excellent example of the kind of cooperative efforts envisaged by Agenda 21, which calls upon "competent inter-governmental and non governmental organisations to cooperate to provide … an integrated programme of environment and development (sustainable development) services."

Memoranda of Understanding for future collaboration have been signed between the ELP and each centre. The nature of the relationship between each of the centres and the ELP is being further developed through experience gained from progressing joint initiatives.

Institutional Partners

Similar Memoranda of Understanding have also been signed with two environmental law organisations in South America, namely:

These organisations have a long history of collaboration with the ELP as do a number of other organisations, including the Macquarie University, Sydney, the Environmental Law Institute in Washington DC, Pace University in New York and the World Wide Fund for Nature in New Delhi. The IUCN ELP has also signed an MoU with ENF EnviroLaw Solutions for activities in Africa.

The IUCN has also entered into Memoranda of Understanding with UNEP and FAO in relation to the operation and expansion of ECOLEX, with UNEP and the Regional Environment Centre for Central and Eastern Europe regarding joint activities in Eastern Europe, with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme for activities in the South Pacific, and with UNITAR.

The ELP - Delivering Lasting Results

The ELP integrated programme of global activities is designed to deliver lasting results. Activities can be followed up through the Programme's local presence and its vast membership and volunteer network.



Principal author: John Scanlon. Last updated: 14 December 2004



Original URL was: iucn.org/themes/law/elp01.html

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