Established in 2022, the UNESCO Chair on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at HBKU advances research, training, public dialogue and international cooperation on environmental law and sustainability.
Launched in 1992 at the 26th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UNESCO Chair program aims to foster strategic collaboration between UNESCO and institutions of higher learning across the world with proven competence in one or more areas of UNESCO’s spheres of activities. The partnership is formalized through an agreement signed between the Director-General of UNESCO and the President or Head of the institution hosting the UNESCO Chair.
There are currently around 830 UNESCO chairs across the world, in over 110 countries, covering 70 disciplines.
Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN (QC), FCIArb, is a Professor and UNESCO Chairholder on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at the College of Law. He is also Chancellor’s Fellow and Director of the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute), Afe Babalola University, Nigeria.
A prolific and highly regarded scholar, Professor Olawuyi has practiced and taught law in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Professor Olawuyi has published close to 100 articles, book chapters, and books on petroleum law, energy, and international environmental law.
UNESCO approved the establishment of a UNESCO Chair on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development (ELSD) at HBKU to harness research, teaching, knowledge exchange and international cooperation on Environmental Law as a tool for advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
This Chair established at HBKU is the first chair that focuses on Environmental Law. It is also one of the very first in the entire MENA region to focus on the Sustainability Science aspect of the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme.
The Chair serves as the focal point for strengthening scientific research, and South-South cooperation between Environmental Law and Sustainable Development researchers in African Universities, and those in the Middle East, to collaboratively address environmental challenges across the MENA region. The Chair also advances international, North-South and North-South-South cooperation, knowledge exchange and capacity development on Environmental Law amongst key stakeholders in education, economic, financial, regulatory and development sectors, and beyond.
The UNESCO Chair at HBKU aims to harness research, teaching, knowledge exchange and international cooperation on Environmental Law as a tool for advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Through locally relevant research, training, workshops, conferences and community outreach programs, the Chair will develop, train and equip homegrown policy leaders who are capable of steering the continuous application and implementation of environment and sustainable development instruments, especially the UNSDGs, in Qatar and the MENA region.
Disseminate cutting-edge research and locally relevant publications that will contribute to evidence-informed decision-making on environment and sustainable development issues, especially in critical areas of climate change, preservation of natural heritage, energy efficiency, sustainable lifestyles, clean technology entrepreneurship and the green economy.
Work with existing partners such as the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North African Universities (ASSELLMU), where the UNESCO Chair will serve as a focal point for strengthening South-South, North-South and triangular scientific cooperation, academic exchanges, and knowledge dissemination on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development in the MENA region.