Goals & Missions
Goals & Missions
Τhe entire evolution of science would suggest that the best grammar for thinking about the world is that of change, not of permanence. Not of being, but of becoming – Carlo Rovelli
International negotiation needs to be understood as a structured process of multilateral governance that generates international common interest between and among international participants and in relation to the international public order
MEPIELAN is an international research, educational and training Centre based at the Panteion University in Athens, Greece, cultivating and promoting forward-thinking in environmental law, policy and negotiation.
Founding Director of MEPIELAN Centre
Professor Emeritus of International Law & International Environmental Law,
Panteion University, Athens, Greece
MEPIELAN Centre is an international research, training and educational centre established by Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos at the Panteion University of Athens in 2008.
Before its establishment as a University Centre, MEPIELAN operated as a successful international research, training and informational programme (2002-2007) under the scientific direction of Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos and the aegis of the Panteion University of Athens, supported by the Mediterranean Action Plan/UNEP and the Greek Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works.
MEPIELAN Centre is an accredited UNEP/MAP PARTNER (since 2013), a Member of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) (since 2016), and a Member of the Steering Committee of the MCSD (since 2019).
Maintains Reference Library
Carries out Research Programmes
Operates as an International Actor
Publishes Studies & e-Bulletin
Organizes Training Schools, Seminars & Conferences
Provides Educational Support
Supports graduate and undergraduate special courses on international environmental law, governance and negotiation at the Department of International, European & Area Studies, Panteion University, Athens.
Goals & Missions
Advancing an Innovative Approach to International Negotiation and Building Negotiating Capacity
- MEPIELAN works to advance an innovative approach to, and a holistic understanding of, international negotiation as a multilateral structured process of relational governance between and among international participants, for preparing, constructing and developing treaty regimes of all kinds serving international common interest. Such an understanding and knowledge is indispensable for the negotiators of all international instruments, including the observers, and explains why and how international negotiation matters to international ordering. It is built on an interdisciplinary approach to law and policy supported by philosophical, linguistic, management and psychological considerations.
- On the basis of this approach, MEPIELAN works to develop or enhance the negotiating capacity of all participants (governmental actors and stakeholders) in order to be able to negotiate creatively for international common interest. Furthermore, MEPIELAN advocates the development of a participatory dialogue forum, a “talanoa-type” dialogue platform, effectively engaging all participants in a narrative approach to address the challenges of specific issues at all levels and stages, which will facilitate and enlighten the negotiating process.
Strengthening International Environmental Law
MEPIELAN develops various aspects of international environmental law and governance strengthening their relational effectiveness in order to respond to complex environmental challenges. Applying an interdisciplinary approach, MEPIELAN examines the creative linkage of environmental law and governance with political science, ecology, management, science and technology, economics and social science, paying particular heed to the crucial ethical dimension. Working on an integrated, contextual and process understanding of environmental law and governance, MEPIELAN uses and strengthens these approaches to support their continuous adaptation to the changing “relations of things”, to explore the interaction of law (international and domestic) with environmental transitions, to promote trusteeship approaches and ecological concepts, as well as to influence behavior change especially through the effective engagement of an informed civil society.
Fostering Policy Coherence and Interlinkages
MEPIELAN works to foster policy coherence for the effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In doing so, it addresses the management aspects of the institutional interlinkages between global and regional conventional (treaty-based) environmental regimes as well as the appropriate integration of the SDGs into domestic environmental sustainability governance. Working at the regional implementation level, MEPIELAN advances the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) within the framework of the MAP/Barcelona Convention System, undertaking the implementation of specific MSSD flagship initiatives related to the sustainability governance of this Strategy.
Advancing Public Trusteeship Concepts
MEPIELAN works to advance public trusteeship concepts, and in particular the “public trust approach”, as an innovative legal and policy platform to address the sustainability aspects of conventional environmental regimes for more participatory, equitable and effective governance of the environment and natural resources at local, national and international level. Shedding light on the decisive gap in the legal implementation of the sustainability objective and obligation of conventional environmental regimes, MEPIELAN proposes the development of public trust as an approach to sustainability, according to which governments have a fiduciary legal obligation to the public to protect and manage the environment and natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The advancement of the public trust approach will improve understanding and awareness regarding public rights to hold governments accountable for delivering sustainable development outcomes for the benefit of all and ultimately influence decision-making and policy development for a stronger and more effective legal implementation of sustainability.
Forging Relations with International Organizations
MEPIELAN works to forge relations with key international, regional, national and non-governmental organizations that are related MAP/Barcelona Convention System, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other UNEP/MAP Partners and cooperating organizations, for advancing its purposes. In its effort to promote environmental democracy, MEPIELAN works to build relations with the Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention and the Council of Europe (CE).
Developing Partnerships and Networks
MEPIELAN develops partnerships and networks in the fields of research, education and training with relevant academic and scientific centers and institutes, especially with C-EENRG/University of Cambridge, and relevant international entities and bodies across the globe, in order to provide:
- A platform for communication, and academic/expert discussion of research projects
- A framework for innovative research development on issues of current importance, including the transition to an Ecological Law and Governance
- An educational approximation of international organizations, international entities and academic institutions and a hub for dissemination of usable knowledge, facilitating the building of partnerships on education and coalitions between them.
Raising Educational Activities
MEPIELAN raises educational activities by:
- Conducting international training seminars series or summer schools on international environmental negotiation promoting its innovative approach as a relational governance process constructing international common interest
- Introducing and supporting the teaching of relevant undergraduate and postgraduate courses on environmental law and governance in its international, European, Mediterranean and domestic dimensions, as well as an innovative course on international environmental negotiation at the Department of International, European & Area Studies, Panteion University, Athens
- Providing workshops and seminars for the dissemination of a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to conventional environmental regimes applied to the Mediterranean and to Greece, with a view to promote their broader communication, their effective implementation and compliance with, and to showcase the importance of their interlinkages and synergies
- Organizing international conferences for the advancement of a fruitful dialogue between law policy and science on current issues and challenges of environmental law, sustainability governance and environmental transitions, with emphasis on the Mediterranean.
Contributing to Translation of Environmental Terms & Instruments
MEPIELAN, working on the linguistic aspect of environmental law and policy, actively contributes to the consolidation of meaning of legal and scientific terms and concepts translated into Greek as well as of texts international environmental instruments.
Developing Different Types of Publication
MEPIELAN develops different types of publication (MEPIELAN Series, E-Bulletin, Articles, Reports, Papers) providing a platform for research and teaching that aim to support the advancement of interdisciplinary, relational and process-understanding knowledge and approaches to environmental law and governance.
Providing Advisory and Consultancy Services
MEPIELAN provides advisory and consultancy services on a range of areas of expertise, especially with regard to the legislative implementation, compliance, legal and institutional development of the Barcelona Convention system, as well as to its interlinkages and synergies with relevant conventional environmental regimes.
Promoting Public and Media Awareness
MEPIELAN promotes public and media awareness, nationally, regionally (Mediterranean region) and internationally, on issues and problems related to the protection and sustainability of the marine environment and coasts of the Mediterranean, by developing its own electronic means of the highest possible quality and technologically effective form and by pursuing broader and targeted communication of its work and practices with a view to enhancing public engagement.