Bharat H Desai holds the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Chair in International Environmental Law and is Professor of International Law as well as Chairperson of the Centre for International Legal Studies at the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. His significant published works include: International Environmental Governance: Towards UNEPO (Boston: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff – forthcoming, 2012); Implementation of Convention on Biological Diversity in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas Countries (Kathmandu: ICIMOD, 2011); Multilateral Environmental Agreements: Legal Status of the Secretariats (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Creeping Institutionalization: Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Human Security (Bonn: UNU-EHS, 2006); Institutionalizing International Environmental Law (Ardsley, NY: Transnational, 2004). He serves as an Associate Editor of the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (Oxford University Press: Oxford), as well as Vice-Chairman of the Foundation for Development of International Law in Asia (The Hague and Singapore).
Bharat’s pioneering work on ‘UNEP: A Global Environmental Authority?’ [published in Environmental Policy and Law (IOS Press, The Hague), vol.36, nos.3-4, 2006] was referred to the President of the United Nations General Assembly as well as to the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence (co-chaired by Prime Ministers of Norway, Pakistan and Mozambique). The High-Level Panel’s report on 9 November 2006 endorsed his proposal for ‘up gradation’ of UNEP into a UN ‘specialised agency’ called UN Environment Protection Organisation (originally made in a presentation at Legal Department of the World Bank, Washington DC on 15 January 1999). The European Union’s 2005 UNEO proposal has ‘striking similarity’ with Bharat’s 1999 UNEPO proposal.
Bharat is engaged in promotion of teaching and research of International Law and International Environmental Law as well as ‘Regional Capacity Building in Environmental law’ in the South Asian region. He has been engaged in special ‘lecture workshops’ for senior officials of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun as well as the Foreign Service Institute of Ministry of External Affairs. At the domestic level, apart from his basic work on environmental law in India, he has been consulted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of External Affairs. He has also been inducted as a member of the official Indian delegations to various intergovernmental meetings, and has written extensively in the fields of international law, international environmental law, international environmental institutions, and environmental law in South Asia and environmental law in India. Bharat is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment.