International plaudits for Law postgraduate

Published 07 October 2010

michelleA University of New England student whose research is contributing to the development of biodiversity protection laws in Central Asia has presented the results of her research to great acclaim at the world’s premier meeting for environmental law scholars.

Michelle Lim, a PhD candidate in UNE’s School of Law, spoke recently at the annual IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Academy of Environmental Law colloquium in Ghent, Belgium. The Academy is made up of law professors from 135 universities in 50 countries. Michelle’s paper was one of two doctoral papers selected by a panel of professors to be presented to the closing plenary session of the colloquium.

Michelle (pictured here) presented objective criteria for the design of more effective laws, providing specific recommendations for strengthening transboundary laws in the High Pamirs (Tajikistan and Kyrgystan), and the Heart of Borneo. Commentators from developing countries reflected on the particular utility of the approach presented for improving international biodiversity protection.

From the floor of the colloquium, Emeritus Professor Ben Boer from the University of Sydney summed up the feelings of the Academy when he said that Michelle’s research was “breathtaking in its scope and quality”.

“Michelle’s presentation was outstanding,” said Dr Amanda Kennedy, Deputy Director of the UNE-based Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law (AgLaw Centre), where Michelle is enrolled. “She managed to present truly original, cutting-edge ideas in a way that left a room full of leading international environmental law scholars laughing and learning from her.” Dr Kennedy and Professor Paul Martin, Director of the AgLaw Centre, presented a paper at the colloquium on their joint research with scholars from Penn State University in the United States.

Michelle Lim’s research is contributing to the development of biodiversity protection laws in Tajikistan and Kyrgystan under a UN-GEP project being led by Professor Paul Martin and Adjunct Associate Professor Ian Hannam from the AgLaw Centre.

THE PHOTOGRAPH of Michelle Lim displayed here was taken during her presentation at the colloquium in Ghent.