Doha – Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Law collaborated with the University of Jordan and the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North African Universities (ASSELLMU) to jointly host the 4th MENA Environmental Law and Policy Scholars’ Conference from February 27-28, 2023, in Amman, Jordan.

Organized under the theme “Law on Biodiversity, Nature Conservation and the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East and North Africa Region,” the conference brought together educators and researchers from the environmental sector to exchange knowledge on how to strengthen biodiversity law practice, education, and implementation across the region. Through workshops and seminars, the participants highlighted national, regional, and international aspects of biodiversity law, including the status of teaching and practice of biodiversity and environmental law in MENA countries, as well as domestic and regional approaches to the regulation of biodiversity.

Several prominent figures gave conference keynote addresses, including Patricia Mbote, Director of the Law Division, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); H.E Dr. Leila Chikhaoui, Minister of the Environment of Tunisia; Dr. Nathir Obeidat, President, University of Jordan; Professor Randall Abate, Assistant Dean for Environmental Law Studies, George Washington University, USA; and Dr. Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN, Professor of Law and UNESCO Chair on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at HBKU and Chair of ASSELLMU. Other participants from HBKU included Dean Susan L. Karamanian of HBKU Law; Dr. Andreas Rechkemmer, Professor of Public Policy, HBKU’s College of Public Policy, and Elena Athwal, third year Juris Doctor (J.D.) student and research fellow to the UNESCO Chair at HBKU.  

“Biodiversity law is a powerful tool that protects our cultural heritage as much as our natural environment. Through our partnership with ASSELLMU, the University of Jordan and the financial support of UNEP, we hope to strengthen both the framework of environmental law in the region and strengthen the pedagogy of educational programs in this field. Together, we are eager to continue contributing toward the realization of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Qatar’s National Vision 2030,” said Dean Karamanian.

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

“This year’s conference has greatly highlighted the important roles of environmental education and research in accelerating the preservation of nature and cultural heritage, especially in light of the urgent threats posed by climate change. The UNESCO Chair on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at HBKU will continue to work closely with ASSELLMU and other regional and international knowledge partners to unearth innovative programs that would strengthen biodiversity law practice, education, and implementation across the region.” said Dr. Olawuyi, SAN.

HBKU’s College of Law continues to work closely with top-tier local and international partners to help build expertise and research capacity in Qatar and beyond. Carefully designed auxiliary programs reflect the College’s relevance to government and corporate leaders, locally and globally.


About Hamad Bin Khalifa University

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Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), was founded in 2010 as a research-intensive university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region while having global impact. Located in Education City, HBKU is committed to building and cultivating human capacity through an enriching academic experience, innovative ecosystem, and unique partnerships. HBKU delivers multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs through its colleges, and provides opportunities for research and scholarship through its institutes and centers. For more information about HBKU, visit