MEPIELAN Centre becomes a Founding Member of the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA) and a Founding Voice of the  Siena Declaration of Solidarity
(University of Siena, Italy, 12-13 October 2017)

MEPIELAN Centre, represented by its Director Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, participated in the ELGA’s (Ecological Law and Governance Association) European Launch Meeting taken place in the University of Siena, in Siena, Italy, from 12 to 13 October 2017. The launch of ELGA was prepared by a two-day Working Group Meeting (11-12 October) that brought together 25 experts from 15 countries and from across disciplines, including law, philosophy, science, land use planning, and journalism. The Working Group provided input into the 2018-2020. The 2-day meeting included a World Café style “Wisdom Café, which saw participants pondering various questions, resulting in a multiplicity of ideas for future exploration.

The Working Group meeting first explored the foundations of ELGA in an open discussion. At his introductory statement to the Working Group, the Director of MEPIELAN Centre Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos presented the multifarious work of MEPIELAN in research, education and training in the realm of international environmental law, governance and negotiation and its potential contribution to ELGA as a transformative collective effort oriented towards ‘ecological law and governance’ approach. He emphasized that MEPIELAN Centre mainly advocates: the educational dimension of environmental governance; the promotion of a trusteeship approach to environmental governance, and especially the development of the “public trust approach”; and, the importance of understanding international environmental negotiation as a treaty governance process preparing, constituting and revising international common interest. The above approaches and ideas formed the background for the interactive contribution of MEPIELAN to the discussion in the “Wisdom Café” and highlighted the pros and cons of the common inputs into the 2018-2020 ELGA Strategy Plan.

On Friday, 13 October 2017, the ELGA was launched at the Santa Chiara Lab of the University of Siena. The Working Group further discussed the structure and the text of the ELGA’s 2018-2020 Strategy Plan, ELGA objectives and outcomes, ELGA’s priority Programmes, ELGA’s Projects, and ELGA’s organizational structure,  communication strategy, and fundraising and budget strategy.

Finally, the Working Group, after a detailed discussion, drafted the Siena Declaration of Solidarity  as an addendum to the Oslo Manifesto.