MEPIELAN E-Bulletin is a digital academic and practitioner newsletter of the MEPIELAN Centre, launched in 2010. It features insight articles, reflective opinions, specially selected documents and cases, book reviews as well as news on thematic topics of direct interest of MEPIELAN Centre and on the activities and role of MEPIELAN Centre. Its content bridges theory and practice perspectives of relational international law, international environmental law and participatory governance , and international negotiating process, thus serving the primary goal of Centre: to develop an integrated, inter-disciplinary, relational, context-related and sustainably effective governance approach creating, protecting and advancing international common interest for the present and future generations. Providing a knowledge- and information-sharing platform and a scholarly forum, the Bulletin promotes innovative ideas and enlightened critical views, contributing to a broader scholarly debate on important issues of international common interest. The audience of the Bulletin includes academics, practitioners, researchers, university students, international lawyers, officials and personnel of international organizations and institutional arrangements, heads and personnel of national authorities at all levels (national, regional and local), and members of the civil society at large.
MEPIELAN Centre, as a UNEP/MAP Partner since 2013, has consistently supported Education as an implementing element of Sustainability Governance in the Mediterranean. The initiative for the development of a joint MEPIELAN Centre – UNEP/MAP international postgraduate programme on Mediterranean Environmental Governance and Sustainability was taken by MEPIELAN Centre and was repeatedly raised by its Director, Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, during the Meetings and Conferences of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention system (2015-2017), as well as during the 17th Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) Meeting (July 2017), and it has been reflected in the Reports of all these Meetings.
In the light of this and pursuance of a further exploration and elaboration of this in initiative, UNEP/MAP Coordinating Unit in cooperation with MEPIELAN Centre organized a closed international workshop at its premises on 23 November 2017. At the workshop, the UNEP/MAP Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention, was represented by Mr. Gaetano Leone (UNEP/MAP Coordinator), Ms. Tatjana Hema (UNEP/MAP Deputy Coordinator), Dr. Ilias Mavroeidis (UNEP/MAP Governance Officer), Ms. Luisa Rodriguez Lucas (UNEP/MAP Legal Officer), and Ms. Gyorgyi Gurban (UNEP/MAP Project Manager (EcAp)). MEPIELAN Centre, was represented by Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, Dr. Alexandros Kailis, and Dr. Socrates Zachos.
The following collaborating institutions were invited and participated in this workshop: the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy), represented by Professor Tullio Scovazzi; the Istanbul Bilgi University Law Faculty (Turkey), represented by Professor Nilufer Oral; the University of Valencia (Spain), represented by Professor Jos? Juste-Ruiz; and, the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and National Resource Governance (C-EENRG), University of Cambridge (UK), represented by Dr. Maria Augusta Paim.
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 ELGA Strategy Plan, including substantive and procedural organizational development (mission, vision, and principles), and program priorities. The 2-day meeting included a World Caf? style “Wisdom Caf?, 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, from its inception, consistently elaborated and promoted “a relational approach” to, and “a process understanding” of international environmental law and governance. Such an approach inescapably calls for “contextuality” and “integrated legal thinking and acting” that paves the way for an ecological conceptualization of the law and policy governing the nature, an earth-centered approach to law. He also underlined the international role and contribution of MEPIELAN Centre in the Mediterranean as an officially accredited partner to UNEP/MAP Secretariat of the Barcelona Convention and a newly elected Non-Contracting Member of the 40-member Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) representing the Scientific Community Group, where it 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 Caf?” and highlighted the pros and cons of the common inputs into the 2018-2020 ELGA Strategy Plan.