World Commission on Environmental Law

A Volunteer Global Environmental Law Network



How we engage 

The World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) advances environmental law around the globe by providing specialized knowledge and assistance to strengthen the legal foundations of the conservation of nature and sustainable development through the conceptual advancement of environmental principles, norms, and laws, and by building the capacity of communities to benefit from the environmental rule of law.


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  • Termas Chillan-Chile Photo: UICN-Sur

    The conservation right: a new property right for sustainability


    By Jaime Ubilla - Traditional property rights have existed for more than 2000 years, but today we are witnessing the development of a new kind of property right: a conservation right (“Conservation Right”), which has emerged from legal research conducted...

  • Bradnee Chambers Photo: CMS

    WCEL remembers Bradnee Chambers


    By Elizabeth Mrema - It is with deep sorrow and sadness that we have to inform you all that our friend, partner, colleague and learned brother, Bradnee Chambers, then Executive Secretary, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (...

  • Water Governance Institute Photo: Water Governance Institute

    WCEL joins the OECD Water Governance Initiative


    By Stefano Burchi & Owen McIntyre - WCEL has accepted an invitation to join the OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI) as a new member and partner.  

Plenary session at the IUCN World Environmental Law Congress in Rio Photo: TJ Rio / AMAERJ

Members Activities

WCEL Members take an active role contributing to initiatives that achieve the objectives of the Commission. This section provides quick access to some of the latest activities.


Lawyers collaborate to aid implementation of the Convention on Biodiversity Photo: WCEL/AEL

Partner Highlights

WCEL’s focus on maximizing collaboration draws together the global environmental law community. This page serves as an outlet to highlight the great number of activities being undertaken by partners.


CEESP Publications Photo: IUCN CEESP


A direct access to the IUCN Environmental Law Library, the ECOLEX Database, the WILDLEX Database and WCEL's Environmental Law Video Library


Learn more

LAC Regional Judicial Colloquium Photo: Nicholas Bryner

Regional Judicial Colloquium for Latin-America and the Caribbean

22-23 May 2017: The Regional Judicial Colloquium focused on the topic of “Constitutions, Environment, and Human Rights: Practice and Implementation”.


Astola Island Marine Protected Area, Pakistan Astola Island Marine Protected Area, Pakistan Photo: IUCN Pakistan

Environmental Rule of Law

The IUCN World Declaration on the Environmental Rule of Law outlines 13 principles for developing and implementing solutions for ecologically sustainable development.


GJIE Interim Governing Committee Participants in the 1st Meeting of the Interim Governing Committee of the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment at the National High Court of Brazil - STJ from 17-18 March 2018 Photo: Nicholas Bryner

Global Judicial Institute on the Environment

The mission of the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment (GJIE) is to support the role of judges, courts, and tribunals to respond to pressing environmental crises.


WCEL Video Library Photo: Nicholas Bryner

WCEL Environmental Law Video Library

This library provides insights from internationally recognized experts discussing critical topics of interest to the global environmental law community.


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