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Environmental law and policy conference hosted in Sohar, Oman

by Madaline Dunn

The fifth MENA Environmental Law and Policy Scholars’ Conference was recently held in Sohar, Oman, from February 19-20. 

Hosted by Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Law, Sohar University and the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North African Universities (ASSELLMU), the event was held under the banner “Environmental Law and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Legislation Towards a Sustainable Economy in the MENA Region.”

Environmental educators, administrators, and legal practitioners gathered at the conference with the aim of exchanging knowledge on how to advance the attainment of the SDGs in the MENA region by 2030.

Held under the patronage of H.E. Prof. Mahad bin Said bin Ali Ba Awain, Minister for Labour of Oman, the event held workshops and seminars where participants highlighted national, regional, and international aspects of accelerating the SDGs.

Further, it saw contributions from the likes of H.E. Dr Abdullah bin Ali Al Amri, Chairman of Environment Authority, Oman, Dr. Hamdan Sulaiman Al Fazari,Vice Chancellor, Sohar University, H.E. Dr. Leila Chikhaoui, Minister of the Environment of Tunisia; Patricia Mbote, Director of the Law Division, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Philipp Bremer, Director of the Rule of Law Programme Middle East & North Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, and Professor Attiya Waris, United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt, other international financial obligations and human rights.

The conference also resulted in the official adoption of a work plan for environmental training and education, which will include focused research in five thematic areas:

  • Technology and the Green Economy; 
  • Business, Human Rights and the Environment; 
  • Environmental Dispute Resolution; 
  • Food, Agriculture and 
  • Water Security; and Energy and Natural Resources.

A scientific committee was inaugurated to prioritise this mandate. 

UNEP and SADER Legal Publishing sponsored the conference. The UNESCO Chair on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, HBKU, and the Rule of Law Programme Middle East & North Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung served as partners.

ASSELLMU’s next conference is scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia in 2025, it was shared.

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