The Commission on Environmental Law had its first Specialist Group meeting for the 2009-2012 mandate in Washington DC from November 17th - 18th. The event was hosted by the American University Washington College of Law (WCL). The main purpose of this meeting was to learn more about what each group is achieving in the field, and at the same time establish the goals that will help to achieve and promote the Commission’s and IUCN's objectives.
Participants led a very productive meeting where they had an opportunity to express their suggestions and recommendations in ways to advance CEL’s mandate. Each SG Chair was given the time to report on their group’s activities. Among the topics discussed were: the working methods Specialist Groups should follow, IUCN-CEL BRICs Dialogue on Climate Change and Biodiversity, Fundraising, Deliverables for 2010 and others.
As part of an ongoing effort to encourage coordinated work between CEL and the Environmental Law Centre as components of the ELP, and the Academy of Environmental Law as an important partner of the ELP, Mr. Yves Le Bouthillier (Director of the Academy) and Dr. Francoise Burhenne (representing ELC Director Alejandro Iza) were invited to give presentations at the meeting.
On November 17th, CEL Members were invited by Prof. David Freestone to the George Washington University where a brief introduction on IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law and the Specialist Groups’ activities was given to students. This was followed by a reception where many students showed interest for learning more about the Commission and becoming members of our Group of Young Professionals.
Prior to the Specialist Group Meeting on November 16th, CEL members were invited to participate in the conference, "Developments in International Environmental Law”. This was organized by CIEL (Center for International Environmental Law) and the American University’s Washington College of Law, as part of CIEL's and WCL's ongoing research and outreach collaboration.
The minutes of this meeting will be available shortly.