IUCN WCEL Water and Wetlands Law Specialist Group
Overview and description
Water and Wetlands Law The IUCN WCEL Water and Wetlands Law Specialist Group leads initiatives for the development and application of water law to achieve ecosystem protection at national, regional ...Water and Wetlands Law The IUCN WCEL Water and Wetlands Law Specialist Group leads initiatives for the development and application of water law to achieve ecosystem protection at national, regional, and international levels.
Dr Michael HANTKE-DOMAS
Mr Stefano BURCHI
Stefano Burchi is an expert in comparative and international water law. From 1983 to 2008, he served in the Development Law Service of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization where he concluded his ...
Stefano Burchi is an expert in comparative and international water law. From 1983 to 2008, he served in the Development Law Service of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization where he concluded his tenure as Service Chief. While at FAO, Mr. Burchi served as in-house legal expert and advisor on domestic and international water law to FAO member countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. His work included reviewing, analysing, and drafting principal and subsidiary water resources legislation, training in water law, and advising on legal and institutional arrangements for transboundary freshwaters. In addition, Mr. Burchi advised various organizations and programs on global and transboundary water issues, including the U.N. International Law Commission, UNESCO/ISARM Programme, and the World Bank. Since retiring from FAO, Mr. Burchi has taken up a variety of water law consultancies with UNESCO, FAO, GEF, the EU (SWIM-SM) and the governments of Bhutan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian Authority, and Qatar. He has also assumed the chairmanship of the International Association for Water Law. Mr. Burchi has authored numerous publications on water resources law and administration, including FAO Legislative Study Nos. 52 and 80 on “Preparing national regulations for water resources management: Principles and Practice”, and Legislative Study No. 86 on “Groundwater in International Law – Compilation of Treaties and Other Legal Instruments”. Since 1995, he has contributed an annual Fresh Water section to the “Year in Review” feature of the Yearbook of International Environmental Law, and since 2001, an annual comparative water law Year-End-Review to the Journal of Water Law. Mr. Burchi holds an LL.B. from La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, and an M.S. from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
Goals of the Specialist Group
- Research and publishing initiatives
- Providing water and wetlands-related comments and advice to a number of IUCN-based and externally organised initiatives
- Contributing to international meetings and fora, including ongoing participation in the World Water Forum
Projects of the Specialist Group
The CCLSG is currently working on four main projects, as approved by the WCEL Steering Committee, over the programme period 2022-2025:
1. Commentary to the Brasilia Declaration of Judges on Water Justice
The commentary will assess the value and relevance of the Brasilia Declaration of Judges on Water Justice (Brasilia, 21 March 2018) (http://www2.ecolex.org/server2neu.php/libcat/docs/LI/MON-093474.pdf) to members of the Judiciary, and to lawmakers and policymakers, in the exercise of their respective functions and powers relating to water resources.
Lead persons: Antonio Benjamin and Stefano Burchi
2. Reverberations in domestic and in international law of the ecosystem support function of groundwater
The project aims to shed light on the much neglected ecosystem support function of groundwater, from the perspective of (a) domestic legislation as regards domestic aquifers, and (b) international law as regards transboundary aquifers.
Lead persons: Laura Movilla and Robyn Stein
3. International liability for environmental damages caused in transboundary waters
This project will explore international environmental liability for the environmental damages endured by one country because of the action (or omission) by another country upstream or downstream.
Lead persons: Micheal Hantke-Domas and Owen McIntyre
4. Commentary to the Manifesto for National Integrated Legal Frameworks for Water Resources Governance
A Manifesto for National Integrated Legal Frameworks for Water Resources Governance https://www.aida-waterlaw.org/2022/03/21/manifesto-for-national-integrated-legal-frameworks-for-water-resources-governance/ has been developed by the International Association for Water Law (AIDA), in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). This project aims to further develop and promote the Manifesto.
Lead persons: Jessica Troell and Stefano Burchi