Conferences and Events
  • 4th Scientific Conference and Workshop: Law on Biodiversity, Nature Conservation, and the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East and North African (MENA) Region February 27-28, 2023


    The Association of Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North African Universities (ASSELLMU)
    4th Scientific Conference and Workshop
    Law on Biodiversity, Nature Conservation, and the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East and North African (MENA) Region

    February 27-28, 2023

    Venue: Faculty of Law, University of Jordan

    Amman, Jordan




    1. Background

    The 4th Scientific Conference of the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North African Universities (ASSELLMU) is planned to be held on February 27-28, 2023 with a view to exploring the guiding principles of biodiversity law and policy in the MENA region.

    The MENA region is rich in biological, natural, and cultural resources. The region’s diverse natural ecosystem ranges from semi-arid savanna to mountain upland plateaus, riverine and coastal plains, sand deserts, coastal mangroves (qurm), sea grasses, dry river valleys (wadis), wetlands, swamp forests, coral reefs, and oases. The region is home to more than 5,000 recorded species of plants and more than 10,000 species of animals, and five of the world’s 34 internationally recognized biodiversity hotspots.  However, many of the biodiversity resources in the region increasingly face major threats. Environmental stresses relating to over-exploitation of plant and animal species, destruction of wildlife habitats, oil-related pollution, climate change, underdeveloped resource management frameworks coupled with gaps in environmental awareness and education, contribute to progressive biodiversity loss across the region and will require urgent legal responses. These debates have assumed greater significance and urgency as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12, 14 and 15 underscore the need for all countries to protect the environment and avoid unsustainable use of biological resources.

    The devastating impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID- 19) pandemic have also accentuated calls for a more balanced relationship with nature and all elements of the ecosystem in order to reduce the rising scale of pandemics and zoonotic diseases in areas where they did not exist before. As MENA countries map out COVID-19 economic recovery plans, understanding the scope and application of extant biodiversity law and policy across the region, the gaps that remain, and innovative environmental law education approaches for addressing those gaps, can help policymakers and stakeholders to plot a clearer path for systemic integration and reform.

    This year’s conference aims to bring together environmental educators, university teachers, trainers, and practitioners to exchange knowledge, experience and learn from each other on how to strengthen biodiversity law practice, education and implementation in the region. As on previous occasions, it will provide a platform for sharing and exchanging information on the necessary resources, skills, approaches, and methodologies needed to equip students and future environmental administrators in the region with law and governance skills to advance the SDGs relating to biodiversity.

    2. Themes

    In acknowledgment of the importance of biodiversity to the MENA region, the plenary session and workshops will provide an opportunity for sharing information on how to enhance capacity for biodiversity law development and implementation in the region. The program will cover national, regional and international law aspects on five (5) main substantive topics:

    • International Environmental Law on Biodiversity: key multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) that, through their effective implementation, can advance the SDGs on biodiversity in the MENA region, specifically through issues related to sustainable management of forest, wildlife, marine, wetlands, and coastal resources.
    • Domestic and Regional Approaches: Latest developments in the regulation of biodiversity across the region, including the applicable legislation, institutions, and key legal innovations in biodiversity conservation and management, including access and benefit sharing.
    • Evidence-based Learning for Biodiversity Protection: the role of environmental law education in advancing biodiversity protection in the MENA region. Innovative educational techniques, legal tools, best practices, research, resources and simulation models that can enhance legal and institutional capacity on biodiversity protection in the region;
    • Practical Application: Current capacity development gaps and needs of environmental law agencies and ministries in the region, and how can they be met.

    3. Papers

    We are inviting abstracts for papers falling within any of the above topics that will propose groundbreaking academic style contributions to biodiversity law and policy in the MENA region. The contributions can take a continental approach to the issues they cover; or focus on sub-regional or country level case studies. In so far as methodology is concerned, papers adopting multi-disciplinary and empirical approaches are welcome. The papers can also address innovative approaches to teaching, carrying out research in and litigating on environmental law.

    4. Submission of abstracts and publication timetable

    Environmental law teachers, scholars and legal practitioners, and other persons interested in the discipline of environmental law and policy from the MENA region, are invited to submit an abstract on any of the above 5 main substantive topics. The proposals should be of no more than 600 words and include the following elements: name of the author; institutional affiliation of the author; author’s contact details; a short description of the topic to be addressed in the paper; the methodological approach taken; and a brief overview of the expected outcomes of the final paper.

    Abstracts should be submitted, together with a copy of the author’s curriculum vitae, as e-mail attachments to the Chair of ASSELLMU, Dr. Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN  (

    The closing date for submission of abstracts is 30 October 2022. Any questions on this call for abstracts should be directed to

    The selection panel will consider the submitted abstracts and inform only the selected authors on or before 01 November, 2022. Upon acceptance of an abstract by the selection panel, the author will be invited to submit the full drafts of their papers on or before 31 December 2022.  Revised versions of the papers will be presented for discussion at the ASSELLMU 4th Scientific Conference to be held on February 27-28, 2023.  Finally accepted papers will be published in a journal special issue or book.

    5. Submission Guidelines

    • The submission must be original and not have already been published or submitted elsewhere.
    • Please ensure that submissions do not infringe other persons’ intellectual property rights.


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