More than 10,000 participants gathered from across the globe for IUCN’s 6th World Conservation Congress in Honolulu (USA) from 1-10 September 2016. Under the theme “Planet at the Crossroads”, IUCN focused on matching its strengths to real conservation needs and contributing toward achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Emphasizing the environmental rule of law as the legal foundation for environmental justice, WCEL, the ELC and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law organized an “Environmental Law Journey” across the Congress.
Events in the journey included all Specialist Groups, the Union’s six commissions, and the Secretariat. With more than 30 events over the course of four days, legal practitioners, academics, policy makers, judges, civil society organizations, and individuals joined to discuss and discover topics as diverse as environment and security, property law and protected areas, developing a global soil regime, and the growing role of judges in environmental protection. As a highlight, the “Inter-Generational Climate Justice Moot Court” brought together eminent environmental law jurists to preside over a mock hearing before the International Court of Justice as law students addressed the issue of the responsibility of nation-states, under international law, to address the global climate crisis. Special events over the course of the journey also included the session “Emerging Leaders and the Future of Environmental Law”, a meeting of WCEL members present in Honolulu, and the “Colloquium on Judges and Nature”.