Information management on environmental law gained new momentum among the ECOLEX partnership
On May 14-15, 2015, the 21st ECOLEX Steering Committee Meeting was hosted by FAO in Rome, Italy. Building on a tripartite partnership of nearly 14 years, FAO, IUCN and UNEP gained new momentum to elevate information management on environmental law through new plans and technical improvement for ECOLEX-the gateway to environmental law.
ECOLEX is an internet-based information service on environmental law, operated jointly by FAO, IUCN and UNEP since 2001. It is the most comprehensive global source of information on national and international environmental and natural resources law. The portal includes extensive information on multilateral and bilateral environmental treaties, national legislation, court decisions and law and policy literature including monographs, articles from periodicals, and grey literature, as well as related news and links to other websites. Search functions are possible using a variety of terms including thematic area, country, geographical area and river basins.
By the end of 2014, ECOLEX included extensive information on 2,145 multilateral and bilateral environmental treaties, 101,154 national legal instruments, 1,567 court decisions, and 34,660 bibliographic references to law and policy literature. In 2014, 133,441 users worldwide visited the ECOLEX portal to search for national and international environmental laws and regulations, court decisions, multilateral and bilateral agreements and related literature and policy instruments.
The steering committee of ECOLEX meets regularly to discuss strategic issues concerning information management and dissemination on environmental law and provide guidance for further development of ECOLEX to reach out to not only legal professionals but also other stakeholders of concern.
With technical assessments and pilot work on the revamp of ECOLEX conducted in 2014/15, one objective of the meeting was to agree on a plan for the full implementation of ECOLEX revamp, including technical steps, financial requirements and communications and outreach opportunities.
The three Partners also discussed a draft exchange of letters which aims to clarify Article 4 of the ECOLEX partnership agreement, specifically concerning intellectual property rights and dissemination of data within and beyond ECOLEX.
All partners reiterated the value and commitment to the tripartite partnership in managing and disseminating information on environmental law. ECOLEX will continue to be a strong framework and mechanism and will be further strengthened. It was also agreed that partners will jointly design and implement events around the 15th anniversary of the ECOLEX partnership at relevant international and national fora in 2016.