IUCN event | 08 Jul, 2021

2020 Regional Environmental Law Conferences

The regional Congresses will consider A Critical Decade for Environmental Law by expanding upon the original themes of the 2nd World Environmental Law Congress. The focus on the future, in connection with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is an innovative look forward to and beyond the next decade for the legal discipline.

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This past year the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) made the decision to postpone the 2nd World Environmental Law Congress (Congress), originally planned for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March 2020.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 global health pandemic, WCEL has now decided to split the global Congress into the following five converging regional hybrid Congresses:

  • Inter-American Environmental Law Congress (Mexico City, Mexico, 8-9 July 2021)
  • Inaugural Oceania Environmental Law Conference in conjunction with the Oceania Environmental Law Congress (Suva, Fiji, 14-16 July 2021)
  • African Environmental Law Congress (Rabat, Morocco, 28-29 July 2021)
  • Measuring the effectiveness of environmental law through legal indicators in conjunction with the European Environmental Law Congress (Paris, France) 
  • Looking Ahead To The CBD CoP15: Opportunities And Challenges Posed By Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) in conjunction with the Asian Environmental Law Congress (Singapore) 

In light of emerging and continuing global challenges, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, all regional Congresses will reaffirm, further develop, and advance the 2016 World Declaration on the Environmental Rule of Law and set the stage for the design of its implementation guidelines.

Regional Events

Inter-American Environmental Law Congress

8 - 9 July 2021

Mexico City, Mexico

Theme: Biodiversity and Law

Video Recordings:

Opening Ceremony & Welcoming Remarks

Congress Introduction and Keynote Presentations

General Trends & Challenges in Environmental Law in Americas

Protecting Environmental Defenders

Keynote Presentations (Day two)

WCEL Award Ceremony

Environmental Law in Court & Tribunal: Perspective on Environmental Adjudication & Capacity Building

Biodiversity Law: Looking Towards the CBD COP15 and National Legal Regimes

Role of the Administration in Environmental Law

Closing Keynote Presentation

Congress Closing


Oceania Environmental Law Congress

14 - 16 July, 2021

Suva, Fiji

Theme: Oceans and Islands

African Environmental Law Congress

28 - 29 July, 2021

Rabat, Morocco

Theme: Water and Desertification

Video recordings:
Opening Ceremony & Welcoming Remarks by the Organizers

Congress Introduction

Keynote Presentations: Water, Desertification and Climate Change Law in Africa

Roundtable: Environmental Law, Water and Climate Change: General Trends & Challenges in Africa

Environmental Law, Desertification and Climate Change: General Trends and Challenges in Africa

Key Recommendations emerging from the First Day of the Congress

Summary of the First Day of the Congress

Brasilia 2018 Declaration of Judges on Water Justice & Dakar2021 (9th World Water Forum)

Discussion on the Key Recommendations of the Congress

Water, Desertification and Climate Change Law: UNCBD COP 15, UNFCCC COP26, UNEA 5.2 and UNCCD COP 15

The Brasilia 2018 Declaration of Judges on Water Justice

WCEL Nicholas Robinson Environmental Law Award Ceremony

High Level Closing Sessions of the Congress

Asian Environmental Law Congress

Dates: 13 December 2021

Singapore; Online

Theme: Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs)


High-level Judicial Segment: A critical decade for the environment

Dates: 8-10 December 2021

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Online

Theme: The role of Judges: Environmental Law 2030 and Beyond

Video recordings:

Cultural Opening

Welcoming Remarks

Opening Video Addresses

Keynote Opening Lecture: Climate Change, Biodiversity and the Environmental Rule of Law

Judges and Climate Change

Climate Change, Biodiversity and the Environmental Rule of Law in the Montevideo V Programme

The Water Crisis and the 2018 Brasília Declaration of Judges on Water Justice

The 2021 IUCN Marseille Manifesto Key Messages to Judges on Biodiversity and Climate

Roundtable on Judicial Education on Climate Change and Biodiversity Law: The African and Asian Experiences

The Role of Courts in Protecting Environmental Defenders

Judges and the Ocean Crisis

The Promises of the Glasgow Climate COP 26 and Stockholm+50

Rights of Nature

Judges, Forests and Protected Areas

Congress Outcomes

Closing Keynote Addresses

Congress Closing

European Environmental Law Congress

Dates: 16-17 December 2021

Paris, France; Online

Theme: Environmental Indicators

Video recordings



Oceania Environmental Law CongressRead more

1st IUCN World Environmental Law CongressRead more

Inaugural Oceania Environmental Law ConferenceRead more