Engage with us

Engage with us

The Centre for Environmental Law engages with other environmental organisations on both a global and local level via collaborative partnerships, visitors and faculty exchanges, capacity building and professional development programs.

Capacity-Building Projects

Bangladesh Program

The Centre’s developing partnership with the Government of Bangladesh since 2012 has resulted in significant academic output and policy reform impacts. The Centre has mentored HDR candidates from Bangladesh and developed specific postgraduate courses for Bangladesh government officials to provide training in the area of sustainable governance. The Centre has also provided extensive training programs to over 500 Bangladesh Civil Servants to develop skills in sustainable development, treaty interpretation, human rights, trade and environmental policy reform. By equipping government officials with key skills, the Centre developed the advancement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals within Bangladesh.

Indonesia Program

The Centre’s engagement with Indonesian partners significantly contributed to the development of linkages in Indonesia, which is a priority country in Macquarie University’s international engagement strategy. Through collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Ministry of Forestry and Environment of the Government of Indonesia, the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University, CEL has significantly contributed to Indonesia’s capacity to implement environmental law and policy reform, and has strengthened partnerships through MoU’s and networking between researchers, to ensure future collaboration.

Visitors and faculty exchanges

Exchanges in 2010

Dr Erika Techera

Visiting Scholar at the University of Hawai'i, William S Richardson Law School for six weeks in 2010. Dr Techera's research will focus on a comparative analysis of North/South Pacific strategies for community based marine management and legal approaches to shark conservation.

Exchanges in 2008

Associate Professor Natalie Klei

Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University's Lauterpacht Research Centre in International Law.

Exchanges in 2005

Professor Jose' Rubens Morato Leite (Federal University of Santa Caterina) - Brazil

Professor Leite is one of Brazil'a foremost International & Environmental Law experts in the areas of environmental impact assessment and sustainable development, commenced in February 2005 as a Visting Fellow at MU-CEL. Professor Leite also participated as a speaker in the Biodiversity Colloquium hosted by MU-CEL in July 2005.

Professor Richard Hildreth (University of Oregon)

Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Law Center of the University of Oregon's School of Law and an expert in marine law visited MU-CEL in 1994 to meet with academic staff and postgraduate students. Professor Hildreth visited the Centre again in mid-2005 and attended the 3rd IUCN Academy of International & Environmental Law Biodiversity Colloquium in July.

Exchanges in 2004

Professor Kurt Deketelaere (University of Leuven)

Professor Deketelaere spent a brief time as a Visiting Professor of the Division in May of 2003 returned in 2004 to spend a few days at MU-CEL to meet with our postgraduate students and faculty. During his visit to MU-CEL Professor Deketelaere gave a well-attended lecture to undergraduate and postgraduate students taking the International International & Environmental Law unit on the way in which the European Community was responding to climate change and the anticipated coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

Exchanges in 2003

Professor Michael Jeffery and Associate Professor Donna Craig

They spent part of their overseas study leave in first semester 2002 as the inaugural visiting professors in the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy LL.M. Program at the James E. Rogers School of Law at the University of Arizona (U of A) in Tucson.While at U of A, they convened and taught a unit titled "Comparative Indigenous International & Environmental Law and Management" to a group of indigenous LL.M students from the United States, Canada, Peru and Taiwan.

Professor Robert Hershey

Director of the Indian Law Clinic at the University of Arizona will be visiting MU-CIEL during the last week of March 2003 and co-convening a post-graduate unit titled "Law, Globalization and Cultural Transformations". Professor Hershey brings with him extensive experience acting as Special Counsel for a number of American Indian tribes, including the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. For the past ten years he has taught Indian law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His current courses include Tribal Law Clinical Education (which promotes and assists the self-determination of aboriginal communities in the southwestern United States and worldwide), Advanced Topics in Indian Law, & Globalization and the Preservation/(Transformation) of Culture.

Professor James Salzman

Professor Salzman is from the Washington College of Law, American University in Washington DC and is currently visiting Macquarie University as recipient of a Senior Fulbright Scholarship. After spending the past few months with Macquarie's Key Centre on Biodiversity and Bioresources, Professor Salzman will move over to MU-CIEL for the duration of his visit until late June 2003.

Professor Nicholas A. Robinson

The Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of International & Environmental Law and Co-Director of Pace University's Centre for Environmental Legal Studies (one of the leading International & Environmental Law centres in the U.S.) will be MU-CIEL's Visiting Professor under Macquarie University's Millennium Grant Program. Prof. Robinson will be visiting the Centre for a period of approximately five weeks during September and October of 2003.Prof. Robinson served as former general counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He is currently legal advisor and Chair of the IUCN's Commission on International & Environmental Law. In his distinguished career he founded Pace University's International & Environmental Law programs and edited the proceedings of the 1992 United Nation's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Hon Justice Paul Stein Am

Plans are underway for Justice Paul Stein, a member of the New South Wales Court of Appeal to visit the Law Division, under its Distinguished Visitor program towards the end of 2003.Justice Stein, a former judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court, is a long-time friend of MU-CIEL and is a member of the Centre's Advisory Board. More details of Justice Stein's visit will be posted on MU-CIEL's website over the coming months.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)

MoU between Macquarie University and Ku-ring-gai Council

CEL has signed a MoU with Ku-ring-gai Council, promoting an active collaboration with the Council’s activities, and the development of PACE opportunities for students.


On 21st Oct 2014 Ku-ring-gai Council (KC) and Macquarie University (MQ) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that articulated both organisation’s intent to work in partnership. The MoU states that each year the two entities will develop priority projects for the year ahead. The following activities for 2015, the first year of the partnership, have been developed by KC and MQ’s Centre for Environmental Law (CEL) and form an addendum to the MoU. It should be noted that the partnership is not limited to these activities as other opportunities may arise during the year and could be added to this list. At the end of 2015 activities will be reviewed and discussions held to determine priority activities for 2016.


Higher degree research (HDR) projects

MQ and KC welcomes student research projects at masters and Ph.D. levels that focus on aspects of environmental management (including law) and KMC. Of particular note is KC’s research focus on climate change adaptation in the local government area (LGA). Potential students considering working with KC should contact Dr Jenny Scott: Sustainability Program Leader, Ku-ring-gai Council, P: 9424 0862, M: 0409 468 287, F: 9424 0870, E: jscott@kmc.nsw.gov.au to shape their projects. They should then work with their HDR supervisors to further develop their projects.

Collaborative research

During 2015 MQ and KC will jointly apply for funding, if available, for a research project extending an aspect of KCs work on environmental management.


MQ’s Law School offers an internship program in second semester each year, LAWS 300. Due to the number of students predicted to enrol it is not possible for them to be individually placed as interns in institutions. As an alternative model, students work with partners and on the projects they assign to them. It is predicted that 150 students will be enrolled in this unit in 2015 and four partners will be appointed of which KC will be one. The students remain on campus and partners liaise with them through their ilearn site and four in person visits to meet with their students. Key contact for the internship program will be: Dr Kirsten Davies( MQ), Law School, E: Kirsty.Davies @mq.edu.au M: 0438 255 687.

Sustainability dialogues

KC and MQ will host two sustainability dialogue sessions in 2015. Staff from KC and academics from MQ will present their research on environmental management. One session will be hosted by MQ (open to students and academics) and the other hosted by KC (open to staff and the general public). KC staff will be invited to law school guest lectures and other sustainability dialogue sessions that will be organised throughout the year.

Online course

MQ, through the Australian Research Institute of Environmental Sustainability (ARIES) will be launching an online short course on community engagement for environmental outcomes in 2015. During the trial phase it will be offered to KC environmental staff free of charge on the provision they provide feedback.

MoU between Macquarie University and MOPA, Bangladesh

In 2014, CEL has signed several MOUs with various ministries and institutions of Bangladesh. After a series of negotiations and communications initiated by CEL Director Associate Professor Shawkat Alam, a MoU has been signed between Macquarie University and Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA), Bangladesh on 26 March, 2014. According to the MoU, MOPA will send 15-20 officials for Master’s program to Macquarie University and Macquarie University will provide 50% tuition fee waiver for those of selected officials for the next four years. Following up this, four senior MOPA officials visited Senior Management of Macquarie Law School and Access Macquarie Limited to discuss other possibilities/ initiatives for joint collaboration.

Another MOPA Delegation led by Hon’ble Minister of State visited Macquarie University and reemphasized the need for scoping exercises for curriculum and faculty development and improve the English Language Efficiency of MOPA officials through improving the standard of Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy. The delegation also requested for offering one permanent scholarship for the MOPA officials. Macquarie Delegation visited Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy for scoping exercises of curriculum and faculty development and presented preliminary proposal (5 years project) to the Ministry. Macquarie Delegation met with the Senior Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office and discussed the ongoing and future joint collaboration projects. Macquarie Delegation also visited Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC) and discussed potential collaborations with the senior officials of BPATC. BPATC requested for other scoping exercises for their curriculum development, faculty development, joint research and training program.

MoU between Macquarie University and Wuhan University, China

Signed in March 2017, this MoU promotes research collaboration, the exchange of academic publications and the promotion of Higher Degree Research enrolments at both universities. The key collaborative research project pursued by these parties is the ‘Ecological Civilisation Project’ to be completed in 2020, which investigates approaches to global environmental governance, major international and domestic developments in ecological civilisation, opportunities and challenges, and the negotiation of environmental law conventions.

MoU between Macquarie University and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)

Signed in May 2017, this MoU promotes cooperation between Parties to pursue joint research activities, the exchange of academic staff and resources, joint seminars, workshops and co-authored publications.

MoU between Macquarie University and Universitas Indonesia

Signed in May 2017, this MoU facilitates collaboration through academic and non-academic staff exchanges, joint research programs and academic resource exchange.


Building Capacity for Trade, Environment and Development in Bangladesh

Capacity-Building in Bangladesh is a priority project area for the Centre. In 2012, the Centre received an AusAID grant ($277,177) from the Australian Leadership Award Fellowship (Round 12), which funded the ‘Capacity Building for Trade, Environment and Development in Bangladesh’ Program. A further AusAID grant was received for 2013-16 ($2,995,910) under the Global Partnerships Development 2013, Round 1 and funded further engagements until 2016.

Building Capacity for Effective Negotiation and Participation in International Treaties for Bangladesh

An MoU was signed with the Ministry of Public Administration (MoPA), Bangladesh in 2014, establishing the ‘Building Capacity for Effective Negotiation and Participation in International Treaties for Bangladesh’ Program, also funded by an ALAF Category 2 grant ($334,000).

A diverse range of participants were selected by the Government of Bangladesh with consideration for gender balance, work experience and department needs.

Through the seminars, workshops and industry visits undertaken through this Program, the Centre contributed to the capacity of professionals to interpret and implement international law and multilateral treaty frameworks, develop effective governance process through law and policy reform and develop strategic international and inter-agency negotiation skills. The Program was able to target the specific strategic needs of the Economics Relation Division (ERD) by developing leadership, addressing regional development priorities and strengthening partnerships between Australia and other organisations. It built the institutional capacity of the ERD to conduct national interest analysis of treaties in order to understand and comply with obligations imposed by international treaty regimes and promote a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to law and policy reform across social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development.

Participants were required to report to their Heads of Department and produce an action plan to further programs for effective knowledge transfer. Follow up meetings between the Centre and Ministry of Finance reinforced and evaluated the program’s outcome. Both this project and the Capacity-Building Program on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development generated Category 2 research income.

Effective Governance for Sustainable Development

The Centre’s partnership with Bangladesh was strengthened in 2015 with the successful delivery of the ‘Effective Governance for Sustainable Development’ Program that hosted 30 early career officials who performed in the top 10 per cent of their Foundations Training Program with the Bangladesh Public Administration and Training Centre (BPATC).

This program was successfully hosted again in 2016 for 100 mid-level officials and 45 junior officials from the Ministry of Public Administration and again in 2017 for 100 officials.

Due to the success of the Program, negotiations have begun to renew the MoU with the Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA) in Bangladesh, signed in 2014.

Promoting Higher Quality of Higher Education through Strategic Management and Effective Government in Bangladesh Program

The Centre hosted the ‘Promoting Quality of Higher Education through Strategic Management and Effective Governance in Bangladesh’ Program for 60 Bangladesh government officials.

This was hosted in partnership with the University Grants Commission whose role is to promote and coordinate university education in Bangladesh. It successfully promoted the capacity building of officials from the Commission and education administrators in the fields of e-governance, quality assurance, administrative and financial management.

New Curriculum Program for the Bangladesh Civil Service Academy

It is expected that a two-year research consultancy will be signed in 2017 to contribute to the renewal of the curriculum of the Bangladesh Civil Service Academy, allowing CEL’s experts to infuse principles of environmental sustainability into their key Law and Administration training course for its members of the administration cadre of the Ministry of Public Administration. This five-year project will have a significant long-term impact on environmental law and policy reform in Bangladesh and is expected to generate approximately $585,000 Category 3 Research Income for 2017-2021.


Building Capacity for Sustainable Forest Governance in Indonesia

The Centre significantly contributed to Indonesia’s capacity to implement good governance practices in sustainable development through its ‘Building Capacity for Sustainable Forest Governance in Indonesia’ Program from 30 January to 17 February 2017.

This was the Centre’s third Fellowship Program for DFAT since 2013 and hosted 15 senior researchers and policy makers from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment of the Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Centre of Society and Culture. Overall, this Program generated approximately $192K Category 2 income for the University, granted by DFAT Round 16 funding.

LIPI is the peak policy-making institute in Indonesia and it is imperative that it is able to engage effectively with local and international stakeholders, carry out advanced policy research and effectively develop transparent and accountable trade and public-private partnerships. By working to build the capacity of LIPI to achieve these outcomes, the Program contributed to the development of evidence-based policies and the facilitation of high quality policy advice to the Indonesian government and other end-users.

The Program also promoted cooperation between Australia and Indonesia to address global and regional environmental challenges and promote regional stability. The Program addressed issues of deforestation and subsequent impacts on gas emissions, conservation, food security and socio-economic justice. This improved mutual cross-cultural understanding through collaboration which is key to improving relations and decreasing tensions between Australia and Indonesia.

The Program emphasised the importance of incorporating principles of good governance such as accountability, participation and transparency, into the management of Indonesia’s forest resources. As a result, the Program was able to facilitate reformed approaches to Indonesia’s legal and policy frameworks in relation to land use, planning land rights, monitoring and enforcement, mitigation and disaster risk management. It increased LIPI’s capacity to combat illegal occupation of land and unlawful trade as well as its capacity to respond to the adverse effects of deforestation, natural disasters and environmental degradation as a result of unsustainable farming practices. The structure of the Program ensured that LIPI’s development would contribute to broader domestic and international agendas. In particular, strengthening government in national resources contributed to Indonesia’s 2015-19 National Medium Term Development Plan and the reduction of poverty through sustainable forest governance practices contributed to the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Importantly, Return to Work Plans and follow up engagement meetings were integrated into the Program. Participants rigorously examined policy transfer and strategic policy development implications as well as gained insights through industry visits into how Australian government institutions develop and promote best practices. Participants consolidated their improved knowledge by identifying potential policy reforms in their own portfolios or areas of study throughout the Program and these reforms were further refined by four Australian experts in a follow-up meeting in Jakarta. This ensured that the impact of the Program was broader than further academic publications or an improved theoretical understanding of good governance but rather tangibly impacted governance practices in policy and law reform.

Sustainable Public Procurement Program

In 2016, the Centre successful delivered the ‘Sustainable Public Procurement’ Program in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), Indonesia. This Program hosted 25 Indonesian government officials.


The Centre for Environmental Law has established an enviable international reputation over many years and has developed a strong working relationship with other environmental and natural resources law centres overseas. These include:


  • Bangladesh Civil Service Training Academy Centre
  • Ministry of Public Administration


  • Gadjah Mada University
  • Research Centre for Society and Culture, Indonesian Institute of Sciences
  • Universitas Indonesia


  • Thammasat University


  • Research Institute of Environmental Law, Wuhan University
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