The Commission on Environmental Law held the first meeting of its new Steering Committee from April 29th to May 1st, 2009 in Porto de Galinhas, Brazil. The meeting was co-hosted by the Brazilian Association of Environmental District Attorneys (Associação Brasileira do Ministério Publico de Meio Ambiente—ABRAMPA).
The CEL Chair presented the new Steering Committee members with a background on CEL’s Bylaws, its role in the Environmental Law Programme and its Mandate within the IUCN. She also gave them a brief introduction to IUCN’s Statutes and Regulations. She reported on activities carried out during the past 2004-2008 Mandate, including the work of the Specialist Groups and Task Forces. Additionally, the Steering Committee members discussed strategies to move forward, including the creation of a new Protocol on communication, information exchange and joint work between CEL and the Environmental Law Centre, and activities to respond to IUCN’s Core Programme Area and Thematic Programme Areas.
The Steering Committee members placed a great deal of emphasis on communication, and agreed that they would work together towards finding a way to improve on this. They also agreed on appointing regional and national focal points to engage the existing CEL membership in its work, and to recruit new members.
The CEL Chair and Deputy Chair commended the Steering Committee members for their active participation. The members’ multicultural and professional backgrounds proved to be very valuable, as they provided key input for the 2009-2012 Mandate.