What's New

Launch of CISDL-UNEP Issue Brief Series on the SDGs

Sun, 7 Aug 2016

CISDL-UNEP Issue Brief Series on the Contributions of International Law, Policy, and Governance to the SDGs

The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have initiated a partnership to inquire into the contributions of international law, policy, and governance to the environmental dimensions of the SDGs. The following Issue Brief series is the result of the initial phase of this partnership.  Click on the respective SDG to access the brief. 

Marrakech UNFCCC CoP22 Climate Law and Governance Day: Call for Partners

Tue, 2 Aug 2016

The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) at McGill University, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) at Cambridge University, the University of Nairobi, and the University of Chile, together with a consortium of leading law faculties, UNEP, UNDP and other partners, invites leaders for key themes and sessions at the 2016 Climate Law and Governance Day.

The 2016 Climate Law and Governance Day (CLGD) will take place on the 11th of November 2016, during the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC in Marrakech, Morocco. 

In addition, a special international climate law and governance course is proposed to take place on the 13th of November. This call for proposals contains an opportunity to register interest in teaching or sending participants to this one-day law course, earning a special certification‎.

About Climate Law and Governance Day 

CLGD brings together a community of international and national leaders and actors responsible for inspiring, innovating and building the capacity of new generations of law-makers and practitioners in global efforts to address climate change and implement the Paris Agreement. 

Building on the success of the inaugural CLGD at La Sorbonne Law School during COP21, in collaboration with leading faculties of law of the Kingdom of Morocco, CLGD 2016 aims to convene government delegates, academics, practitioners, experts, and stakeholders from civil society and the private sector, to discuss the law and policy reform elements of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the Paris Agreement, the Climate SDG, and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. 

How to engage

Parties, observers and other institutions are invited to collaborate in setting the climate law research and practice agenda through: sponsoring and hosting key thematic or regional panels and workshops individually or in consortium, sharing lessons learned about a key regional, national or local laws or instruments, hosting a mock trial or moot, and sharing resources to ensure the second Climate Law and Governance Day is a success. 

Please send session proposals via online form here or via email using the simple email format below, to climatelawgovernance@cisdl.org, cc'ing rkibugi@cisdl.org, and klofts@cisdl.org by 5 pm EST, 15th of September 2016. 

Proposals will be considered by the Programme Committee on a rolling basis, and spaces are limited, so partners are warmly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Find form here

You will also find an online form here or for download here and simple email format below for registrations of interest to teach or send 5+ participants to the special international climate law and governance course. 

Likely themes and key features of the day 

Meetings with professors and experts from Morocco's leading faculties of law in Rabat, Settat and Marrakech, together with a Legal Experts Roundtable during the 44th meeting of UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB44) in Bonn in May 2016, helped scope this year's CLGD dialogue and capacity building agenda. Proposed themes include:

·  Climate Instruments: What can be learned from legal and institutional reform innovations to address climate mitigation and adaptation, at national, local, regional and international levels?

·  Climate Finance: How can trade, investment and financial rules advance the pathway to a greener economy, addressing climate change and sustainable development challenges?

·  Climate Justice: How can climate actions integrate human rights, inter-generational equity and other priorities, including for climate resilience, and loss and damage?

·  Climate Litigation: What can be learned from recent climate litigation experiences?

The Day will feature keynote speakers, briefings on the diverse progress in climate law and governance worldwide, substantive roundtable sessions on law and governance trends and practices, and sessions and debates to explore the future legal and governance research agenda. It will be supported by a series of legal briefs, preparatory seminars and symposia at law faculties across the world, international essay-writing and mooting competitions, and a half-day on-site workshop in the Blue Zone at CoP22. It will also gather papers for a new book, for Cambridge University Press, ‎on implementing the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC for sustainable development.

About the special international climate law and governance course

Co-hosted with university partners and the UNDP, among others, a one-day course is proposed to be held at Hassan the 1st University Faculty of Law in the city of Settat near Marrakech on 13th of November 2016. International and leading national and regional scholars and practitioners will receive focused capacity-building and teaching, providing a model for the launch of a new Climate Law & Governance Masters Degree with international support and partners, to be offered in the future by Hassan the 1st University, as a legacy of CoP22 that will continue to benefit students and practitioners in the region for years to come. This call for proposals seeks registrations of interest to either teach, or send 5+ participants to the course. Certificates will be provided.

For further information on the 2016 Climate Law and Governance Day, please download a detailed concept note here or visit www.climatelawgovernance.org/2016-clgd.html. To signal interest in becoming a partner, simply reply with the form below.

Email: climatelawgovernance@cisdl.org

Web: www.climatelawgovernance.org



Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day: Call for Proposals

Fri, 22 Jul 2016

Cancun Biodiversity Law and Governance Day: Call for Proposals
The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), McGill University, Yale University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Costa Rica, the University of Chile, the University of Nairobi, and a consortium of leading law faculties and other partners, invite you to lead themes and sessions in the inaugural 2016 Biodiversity Law and Governance Day.
The 2016 Biodiversity Law and Governance Day will take place on the 10th of December 2016, during the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Cancun, Mexico.
Likely themes and key features of the day include
· Briefings on the diverse contributions of organizations working on biodiversity law and governance matters, and their plans for technical cooperation on the mainstreaming of biodiversity into sectoral and cross-sectoral laws
· Substantive roundtable knowledge café sessions on key international law trends and governance practices on mainstreaming biodiversity into sectors and across sectors, best practices, advances and trends in sectoral legal or policy frameworks, and effective institutional approaches and mechanisms, including for public participation, transparency of information and access to information.
· Identifying the future legal research agenda on mainstreaming biodiversity, identifying specific capacity needs, and opportunities for partners to engage in capacity building and technical cooperation.
Please send session proposals, using the simple email format below, to blgd@cisdl.org, cc’ing jcabrera@cisdl.org and fperron@cisdl.org by 5 pm EST, 15th of September 2016. 
Proposals will be considered by the Programme Committee on a rolling basis, and spaces are limited, so partners are warmly encouraged to apply as early as possible.
For further information on the 2016 Biodiversity Law and Governance Day, see the Concept Note
Submit a Proposal

Highlights from CISDL/CIGI International Law Seminar

Tue, 19 Jul 2016

Held on Friday 15 July 2016, the CISDL, CIGI and UNEP hosted an international law seminar on Emerging Challenges for International Law, Human Rights and Sustainability. The seminar had presentations from both CISDL and GIGI research fellows and broght together a range of issues at the intersection of human rights, cliamte change and sustinable development. 

Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger receives the 2016 Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Award

Sun, 3 Jul 2016

It is our esteemed pleasure to highlight that theSenior Director of the CISDL, Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, has been honored with the 2016 Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Award. The Award, founded by the Hungarian Ombudsmen in 2007, is granted for exemplary, outstanding achievement and professional activities carried out in the field of protection of human and other civil rights and is presented each year on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of the Ombudsman institution.

CISDL comment on Canada’s Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

Sat, 25 Jun 2016

On Friday 24 June 2016 the CISDL provided detailed comments to the Canada’s new Federal Sustainable Development Strategy to the Federal Government. The briefing note will be reviewed by policy makers and is a component of an ongoing program of work conducted by CISDL on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and international law interfaces.

The Briefing Note was authored by Freedom-Kai Phillips, Christopher Campbell-Duruflé, and Konstantia Koutouki with contributions from a broad range of members of the CISDL.

Available Here 

Emerging Challenges for International Law, Human Rights and Sustainability An International Law Seminar

Sat, 25 Jun 2016


We are warmly inviting you to join the CISDL, the CIGI and the UNEP for a seminar dedicated to the ''Emerging Challenges for International Law, Human Rights and Sustainability'' which will be held in Montreal on July 15th from 2 p.m to 6 p.m. 
This seminar will provide a unique opportunity for international legal experts, practitioners and students alike to consider how legal measures developed under parallel processes and complementary treaty regimes can support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The seminar is particularly designed to explore climate law and governance interfaces relating to human rights and migration. 
13:30 – 17:00 | Friday 15 July, 2016
McGill University, Faculty of Law | 3644 Rue Peel, Montréal, QC 
14:00 – 14:15 Opening and Welcome
14:15 – 15:15 Roundtable 1 | Contributions of International Law to the SDGs
How can international law contribute to the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on climate change, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and water? Which international legal instruments intersect to help achieve the proposed SDGs, and what are the most interesting recent innovations in these regimes? This roundtable marks the launch of the CISDL/UNEP Issue Brief series on Contributions of International Law, Policy and Governance to the SDGs.  
15:30 – 16:30 Workshop 1 | Legal Considerations of the Paris Agreement: Human Rights and Migration
How can the Paris Agreement support advancement of human rights in the context of climate induced migration? What synergies exist and how can international law influence the human rights agenda in climate change. 
16:45 – 17:45 Workshop 2 | Legal Considerations of the Paris Agreement: Climate Justice
How can the Paris Agreement assist in achieving climate justice? What does climate justice mean, and how can the rule of law and justice community contribute to global efforts to address climate change in the context of the new Paris Agreement?
Register Here - Space is limited
Download Poster

Environmental seminar - Lighting the way: An assessment of energy conservation in Ontario

Thu, 23 Jun 2016

The ECO’s latest evaluation of Ontario’s energy conservation policies
Energy conservation is central to achieving a clean, reliable and affordable energy system in Ontario. The 2015/2016 Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report is an independent review, and comprehensive summary and critique of the state of energy conservation across sectors and fuels (oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, transportation fuels) in the province. As such, it is a valuable resource to monitor the pace, scope and trend of Ontario’s efforts to conserve energy. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is Ontario’s environmental watchdog and an independent officer of the Ontario legislature. On May 31,  016, the new Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dianne Saxe, released her first report on the effectiveness of Ontario’s energy conservation policies and programs implemented by government ministries, agencies and boards.
Dentons, along with the Climate Change Lawyers Network and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, invite you to join us for a timely panel discussion with the ECO’s Energy Conservation Team about what the province’s efforts to conserve energy could mean for doing business in Ontario, particularly as it accelerates its transition to a low-carbon economy. Visit our website for more information on our speakers and topics.
Additional information can be found on the website for the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law. Please RSVP by Thursday, June 23.
Questions: Please contact Carla Vasquez at +1 416 361 2377 or carla.vasquez@dentons.com
Dentons Canada LLP is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us at toronto.events@dentons.com in advance of the event if you have any particular accommodation requirements. We will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.
Location: Dentons 77 King Street West 5th Floor Toronto, ON
CPD accreditation: This 1.5 hour program can be applied toward 9 of the 12 educational hours for Continuing Professional Development required annually by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Registration and cocktails: 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Panel session: 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Dentons is the world’s first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world’s largest law firm, Dentons’ global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries. www.dentons.com.

Advancing the Paris Agreement: International Roundtable on Climate Law & Governance Priorities

Sun, 15 May 2016

The CISDL is delighted to invite you to contact us for an invitation to Advancing the Paris Agreement: Climate Law & Governance Priorities, an International Roundtable on Wednesday morning May 18th at the Ameron Konigshof Hotel, starting with a light breakfast at 8am for confirmed participants. Delegates, legal advisors, observers, law and governance experts, practitioners and students are very welcome.

This Climate Law & Governance Roundtable takes place during the Bonn Climate Conference 44th SBI/SBSTTA & 1rst APA UNFCCC, and is convened by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and a number of key partners in the Climate Law & Governance Initiative. For further details, including to confirm your participation in the Roundtable, to receive a copy of the Summary Report, and/or to participate in Climate Law & Governance Day on Friday 11 November 2016 the UNFCCC CoP22 in Marrakech, please contact us at als201@cam.ac.uk, cc ofitzgerald@cigionline.org and mccs2@cam.ac.uk.

For more information, please refer to this poster: Link

Please RSVP by 8 PM CET Tuesday May 17th 2016

Special Event Celebrating the CBD's 20th anniversary in Montreal

Fri, 29 Apr 2016

International Law on Biodiversity

20 Years of Extraordinary Evolution

Wednesday, May 4 2016, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
McGill Faculty Club - 3450 McTavish Street, Montreal, Quebec

Montreal is host to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Montreal in May 2016. Five years into the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, after the adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the world’s Sustainable Development Goals, over 192 country Parties to the CBD are reviewing implementation progress, in preparation for the 13th CBD Conference of the Parties in Cancun, Mexico, later this year.

What have been the main advances in international law on biodiversity over 20 years, towards global sustainable development?

What more can be done to mainstream biodiversity across the national and local laws that govern our economies?

What is the forward agenda for research, education, capacity and action?

Join us for a special evening event with the CBD Executive Secretary and world-renowned international law experts at the Historic Baumgarten House, home of the McGill Faculty Club

Join the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the McGill University Faculty of Law, the Université de Montréal Faculté de droit, the International Law Association Canadian Branch (ILA-Canada) and the Nomomente Institute for a special evening event commemorating the Secretariat's 20th Anniversary in Montreal and celebrating a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat and the CISDL on biodiversity law research, implementation and capacity-building.

Wednesday, May 4 2016, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
McGill Faculty Club - 3450 McTavish Street, Montreal, Quebec


Heffers Children Eco-Stories Event

Fri, 4 Mar 2016


The Heffers Children Eco-Stories event was a great success. It was simply lovely to see the participation from across Cambridgeshire, and the high levels of interest. Many adults noted how kind the older children were with the younger ones, including Jona David who invited his little brother Nico Roman up to the dias to help to present his book, and involved him in signing copies for the smaller children.‎ Diwa Boateng (Africa), whose book The Forward and Backward City will be published in 2016, also presented the UN Children's Summit Declaration on the SDGs to the gathering, earning accolades, and both Child Authors called attention to the work of their third friend, Miss Kehkashan Basu (Middle East) The Tree of Hope, which was displayed during the event.


Jona and Nico study at King's College School of Cambridge, and many of pupils came, but teachers and children also participated from a good mix of over ‎15 primary schools across the county, including Parkside, St Matthews, Saint Johns, St Faith's, Newnham Croft, Stephen Perse International, and others, and from different areas such as Melbourne, Haslingfield, Histon, Newnham, Coton, Riverside, Cambridge City Centre, Trumpington and Castle, among other areas. 

The children displayed a very good understanding of sustainability issues, and the importance of renewable energy, green spaces, sustainable transport systems (rather than big highways) and working to ensure that rubbish is properly recycled rather than adding to the city's tips, a key theme of Jona's Book‎ 2, The Great Green Vine (UN / VoFG, 2015).


Diwa served as a Child Author co-judge, helping Heffers and Blue Smile come to their decisions on the entries. 16 of the children won prizes (chocolate medals, art supplies and books) for their eco-story quizzes showing reading comprehension, for their artwork on sustainability and on children's rights, and for their terrific presentations and participation. The prizes were awarded by Heffers Bookshop and Blue Smile, the charity which works with local children with learning disabilities and mental health challenges, which the child authors had requested to benefit.

Several of the participants said that they wished there could be more sessions like this one for children, by child authors, in the Cambridge ‎Literary Festival and other inspirational events, and the Child Authors both said they hoped to be allowed to participate in such festivals next year (in 2017) if possible.


Jona just learned this week that he has been selected as the finalist to represent King's College School and the whole UK in the international schools debates on Sustainable Cities, in Dubai this spring. This was announced at the event, and the Cambridge children all celebrated a little together, too. (I heard one parent say that normally, it is mainly the London primary schools win such opportunities, he was really happy to hear that a Cambridge child is the UK finalist this year).



© 2016 Centre for International Sustainable Development Law