World Commission on Environmental Law

Oceans, Coasts, and Coral Reefs

IUCN WCEL Oceans, Coasts, and Coral Reefs Specialist Group is the principal source of legal expert advice to strengthen IUCN’s delivery of solutions to address governance of the world’s marine areas.
Coral Reef

Cymie PayneSpecialist Group Chair :

Cymie Payne

Goals of the Specialist Group

  • Serving as the primary source of legal expertise on the marine environment to IUCN and partners
  • Participating in negotiations on a legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
  • Producing a new publication to highlight the legal isssues of ocean acidification
  • Monitoring and contributing to diverse intergovernmental fora dealing with marine legal issues, including the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Seabed Authority, the International Maritime Organization, and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations

Cymie Payne

Cymie Payne is Associate Professor at Rutgers University, focusing on  international and environmental law. She has appeared at the International Tribunal for the  Law of the Sea on behalf of the International Union for Conservation of  Nature. As legal counsel with the UN Security Council's United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, she participated in landmark decisions on the legal responsibility of  aggressor states for the restoration and remediation of damage to the environment from armed conflict. As Director of the Global Commons Project at University of  California Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, she focused on the linkage of state and international climate policy, particularly with respect to emissions trading systems; conflicts of  state law with international trade; and regulating risks of new  technologies such as carbon sequestration. She previously practiced  natural resource and environmental law at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the law firm of Goodwin, Procter.

“Thank you to Nilufer Oral and David VanderZwaag for their leadership as co-chairs of the Specialist Group, which has led to the creation and dissemination of knowledge, and the strengthening of the ocean law community. We are all grateful to you." - C. Payne

Chairs Emereti

Nilufer Oral David VanderZwaag
Nilufer Oral David VanderZwaag




Go to top