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Abbott participates in workshop on international environmental governance

Kenneth Abbot
August 02, 2011

Professor Kenneth Abbott of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law recently participated in a Workshop on International Environmental Governance in Bern, Switzerland, sponsored by the Swiss Federal Ministry of the Environment.

The workshop was focused on grounding policy reform in rigorous analysis. It was designed to bring together scholars of environmental law and policy from five continents, officials of governments and international organizations and specialists from think tanks and other policy organizations. Participants included ambassadors from France and Switzerland, heads of international environmental agencies from Scandinavian countries, and representatives from the United Nations.

The workshop was an opportunity to talk about what scholars know that might be relevant to current international negotiations on restructuring international environmental governance, and to set up a network to facilitate policy-relevant research and communication going forward.

Abbott prepared background papers for the workshop on enhancing civil society participation in environmental governance.

One of the two main topics at next summer’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is to restructure the international organizations that work on the environment and more broadly on sustainable development. The workshop group plans to prepare position papers to inform governments and other actors about crucial issues at the conference, also known as “Rio+20” after the original UN conference held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.

Abbott, who is a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, is a leading scholar in international law. His teaching and research focus on the interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations, including public and private institutions, environmental issues, development policy, global health, and international trade and economic law. He also has a faculty appointment in the ASU School of Global Studies, where he co-directs the global environmental governance program.

Judy Nichols,
Office of Communications, College of Law