Prof Olawuyi unveils book on Environmental Law in Arab States

Ogunsakin Mustapha
5 Min Read

Frontline Energy Law Expert and Global Vice Chair of the International Law Association, Professor Damilola Olawuyi, SAN has unveiled his new book titled Environmental Law in Arab States, published by Oxford University Press, United Kingdom.

The 400-page book is the very first book-length examination of the essential features of environmental law and regulation in the oil and gas rich Arab region. The Harvard and Oxford trained scholar therefore has a waiting global market that has for several decades longed for a comprehensive environmental law textbook for the region. The book fills a significant gap by providing a comprehensive and authoritative account of the guiding principles and rules relating to environmental protection in the Arab region.

Taking an international and comparative approach, the book introduces readers to the latest developments of environmental law across the Arab region including the applicable legislation and institutions on environmental protection, green finance, and climate technologies. The impact of these is assessed in each of the major areas of environmental regulation, air pollution, water pollution, biodiversity, conservation of nature and cultural heritage, infrastructure development, and Islamic ecology. Consideration is given to participatory and bottom-up legal strategies – focusing on transparency, accountability, gender justice, and other human rights safeguards – that are needed to achieve greater coherence and coordination in the implementation and enforcement of environmental regulation across the region. The book closes by providing legal assessments and reflections on how Arab countries can, through clear and comprehensive legislation, advance existing national strategies and visions on trade and investment, green growth, Islamic green finance, circular economy, blue economy, and low carbon future amongst others.

Prof. Olawuyi, SAN’s innovation in providing such a comprehensive treatise has received significant commendation from leading scholars and industry stakeholders.

The Director of the Law Division of the United Nations Environment Programme, Professor Patricia Kameri-Mbote SC, EBS, commended the book for providing “a rare glimpse into a region where not many have information on.” She notes that “the book will be valuable for comparative environment and development law scholars and for policy makers interested in the tractable questions of resource stewardship, sustainable development and citizenry well-being.”

Similarly, Professor Bassam Fattouh, Director, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom describes the book as “a must-read for academics, practitioners and policy makers interested in the sustainable development of the Arab world.”

On his own part, Dr. Robert Mogielnicki, Senior Resident Scholar, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, United States of America noted that “Damilola S. Olawuyi’s clear-eyed study on environmental law in Arab states is essential reading for those interested in environmental pressures facing the Arab region. In this expansive and comprehensive book, Olawuyi elucidates the key legal frameworks and institutions underlying environmental issues. His original work serves not only as an authoritative guide to environmental protection today but also a roadmap toward a brighter future.”

While reacting, Prof. Olawuyi, SAN thanked the many helping hands at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) for their dedication and support, without which the publication of the book would not have been possible. He stated that “Like Nigeria, many oil and gas rich countries of the Arab world are introducing new legal requirements and standards on climate change, integrated waste management, energy transition and green infrastructure development and planning. Failure to understand and comply with such emerging standards could pose significant legal and business risks for clients, and their lawyers alike, and may result in complex litigation. This book provides a simplified toolkit for lawyers, investors, planners and policy makers to understand the emerging innovative and bottom-up approaches to environmental regulation across the 22 countries of the Arab region.”

While reviewing the contents of the book, Prof. Olawuyi, SAN noted that “the book is prepared in a user-friendly style to enhance its utility among its primary audience, namely students, corporations, energy ministries, law firms, arbitrators, courts and international tribunals before whom arguments over environmental requirements and standards often come for resolution.”

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