The 1st IUCN World Environmental Law Congress: Environmental Rule of Law, Justice and Planetary Sustainability convened from April 27-29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil under the auspices of IUCN and UN Environment. Spearheading the event, WCEL brought over 400 participants together to engage in pre- and post-Congress events, plenary sessions, and three series of workshops aligning with the sub-themes:
1) Planetary challenges;
2) Legal opportunities and priorities; and
3) Legal institutions and environmental law.
Over three days, institutions and actors, including judges, legislators, prosecutors, government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, multilateral financial institutions, public interest organizations, and the private sector, as well as scientific and policy experts from related disciplines, joined to address environmental challenges through the lenses of law, science, and policy. Major outcomes of the Congress include:
- The launch and first meeting of the Global Judicial Institute for the Environment (GJIE) as the platform for international convergence of judges and environmental law; and
- Adoption of the “IUCN World Declaration on the Environmental Rule of Law” outlining 13 principles to serve as the foundation for developing and implementing solutions for ecologically sustainable development.