Call for Panels: The 2023 GNHRE-UNEP Summer/Winter School on ‘Transformation and Transitions’

Deadline for panel & lecture proposals: 9 June 2023

The Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will host their third annual online Summer/Winter School on Environmental and Human Rights from 11-15 September 2023. This year the Summer/Winter School will focus on the theme Transformations and Transitions. The School is held in collaboration with the University of Southampton Law School and with the ongoing support of the One Ocean Hub.

This moment in history is often defined in terms of multi-faceted environmental crises, demanding profound social, economic, political, and legal change. And significant changes are being made in all of these areas. This year’s School will examine themes of transformative governance, (just) transition and the many dimensions of ‘change’ that enhance or threaten human rights and the environment.  

We warmly invite proposals for lectures and panels that will explore the various justice, rights and environmental dimensions of these transitions and transformations. Proposals should include a short (300 words) description of the theme, along with the names and affiliations of lecturers/panelists and an indication of whether they have already agreed to join the panel. Please send proposals to by 9 June 2023

Topics explored might include:

  • Disability and just transition;
  • Queer and decolonial approaches to understanding ‘change’.
  • ‘Conservation’, ‘preservation’ and ‘transformation’;
  • The role of human rights and the environment in bringing about transformative change in the face of multiple global planetary crises; 
  • Indigenous epistemologies and the transformation of international law;
  • Indigenous governance and law in biodiversity and land;
  • Just transition and the green economy;
  • Transforming ocean conservation and sustainable use: rethinking blue economies in terms of environmental and socio-cultural justice;
  • Participation and transformative approaches to the implementation of procedural environmental rights;
  • Environmental democracy treaties – such as Aarhus and Escazú – leveraging biodiversity law and transformative change;
  • The emerging notion of just transition litigation;
  • The applications for advisory opinions related to climate change pending before the ICJ, ITLOS, IACtHR and the CoE, and the planned application to the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  • The role of judges and adjudicators in ensuring just transition and securing necesary transformation;
  • Loss and damage;
  • Business responsibilities for the right to a healthy environment and the transition of fossil-fuel dependent economies;
  • Money, crypto-currencies and the environmental impacts of transitions in currency and finance;
  • Transforming trade & reconceptualising competition law in light of global environmental crises;
  • Gender-transformative approaches to environmental protection;        
  • Security, war, conflict transformation and the drivers of environmental and economic transition;
  • The transformative role of children’s rights to a healthy environment;
  • Realizing the right to a healthy environment in the intersecting climate and plastics crises;
  • Transition, transformation and rights of nature.

Each panel session will be 90 minutes long and should include time for audience participation and questions. We suggest no more than 5 speakers in a panel. Proposals for individual-led lectures are also welcome. We welcome inter-disciplinary perspectives.

The insights arising from ongoing research, as well as from Global South-North and rightholders-researchers collaborations, under the One Ocean Hub have contributed to identify themes and approaches for the call for panels, in order to help address disconnects between areas of expertise and practice on human rights and the environment. With special thanks to Prof Elisa Morgera, Advisor to the School for Human Rights and Environment.