Focusing on the role of environmental law education in advancing sustainable development, the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is convening the region’s leading environmental law scholars for an intensive five-day conference and workshop.
The Third Scientific Conference and Workshop of the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North Africa Universities (ASSELLMU) began at HBKU in Education City Monday.
The event is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF).
On the opening day, participants were welcomed by ASSELLMU chair Dr Damilola S Olawuyi, associate professor and associate dean of research at HBKU’s College of Law.
Dr Michael Benedik, HBKU provost, gave the opening remarks jointly with UNEP’s professor Patricia Mbote, director of the Law Division; Dr Hatem M’Henni, senior programme manager, QNRF; and Caroline Presber of LexisNexis Middle East and North Africa.
Ahmad Musa al-Namla, chief executive officer, Qatar Museums, delivered a keynote address that explored the role of education and public awareness in promoting sustainable development.
The event features a Train the Trainers (TTT) workshop, organised with UNEP.
Both the plenary and TTT provide opportunities for sharing information on how to enhance capacity for environmental law development and implementation in the region.
The programme covers national, regional, and international law aspects over five substantive topics.
These include the role of environmental law education in advancing sustainable development goals; innovative approaches to teaching, research and litigating environmental law; and meeting the capacity needs of environmental law agencies and ministries.
Prof Mbote said: “Designing effective and innovative environmental law education programmes will not only promote a methodical and coherent development of this body of law, but will also stimulate curiosity among young minds.
Importantly, such programmes will contribute to the achievement of environmental education targets under Goal 4 and Goal 13 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.”
HBKU is represented in the event by the College of Law’s Susan L Karamanian, dean; Hilary Bell, assistant professor of Law; and Dr Dalal Aassouli, assistant professor of Islamic Finance at HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies.
Several prominent Qatari entities are also taking part, including the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Qatar Airways, Qatar Museums, Qatar Green Building Council, LexisNexis Middle East and North Africa, and The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development.