Stetson University

Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy

Environmental Advocacy at Stetson Law

Stetson's Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy serves as an interdisciplinary focal point for education, research and service activities related to global, regional and local biodiversity issues.

The Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy hosts international speakers and conferences, and it coordinates courses, seminars and internships on a variety of topics, including wetland law and policy, environmental law, natural resources and international environmental law. Our Annual Report (PDF) provides more details on the institute's activities for 2014-2015.

Key Initiatives

  • The Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition devoted exclusively to global environmental issues. Founded at Stetson in 1996, the competition now includes regional rounds in Australia, Colombia, India, Ireland, Korea, the Philippines, Ukraine, and the United States, with the top teams advancing to the International Finals hosted at Stetson Law each spring. The next International Finals will be held at Stetson Law on April 13-16, 2016.
  • The International Wildlife Law Conference brings together lawyers, policymakers, scientists, and students interested in wildlife protection efforts. Co-sponsored by the Institute since 2007, this year's conference was held at the University of Granada, Spain, on March 26-27, 2015, and the next conference will be held at Stetson Law in April 2016.
  • Stetson is the only law school in the world with a memorandum of cooperation with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international environmental treaty dedicated to conserving wetlands. Stetson is also a member of the U.S. National Ramsar Committee, which supports the goals of the Ramsar Convention.
  • The Stetson Sea Turtle Initiative works to assist the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, a regional treaty with 15 member countries.
  • Each year, the Institute offers the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series. The lectures are open to the public and provide interdisciplinary perspectives and dialogue about important environmental issues.
  • The ELI-Stetson Wetlands Workshop is an annual event held in the fall with the renowned Washington-based Environmental Law Institute. The proceedings are captured in a special issue of ELI's National Wetlands Newsletter. On November 13, 2014, Stetson hosted the second annual workshop, and the third annual workshop will be held at Stetson Law on November 12, 2015.

Upcoming Events

Please join us for this semester's Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series at Stetson Law's Gulfport campus. The lectures are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend, please email

  • Sept. 3, 2015, at noon: Carlton Ward Jr., photographer and explorer - Florida Wildlife Corridor: Connecting Wild Florida
  • Sept. 29, 2015, at noon: Mike Walker, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. - Lex Naturalis: Meeting the Great Aldo Leopold
  • Oct. 22, 2015, at noon: Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, senior professor of ecology, UNAM, Mexico - How to do conservation science, implement it, and not die trying

Recent News

media/gardner_photo_cropped_COP12-web.jpgProfessor Royal Gardner Attends Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
In June 2015, Professor Royal Gardner discussed the state of the world's wetlands and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel's (STRP) activities in his STRP Chair's report at the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. More than 800 representatives from 140 countries attended this meeting, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
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Team from Law Society of Ireland Wins Stetson's International Environmental Moot Court Competition
On April 16-18, 2015, Stetson hosted the International Finals of Stetson's 19th Annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition. The International Finals Champion was the Law Society of Ireland, and the Finalist was the University of the Philippines.
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media/Chambers.jpgExecutive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species Delivers Biodiversity Lecture at Stetson
Dr. Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), presented a lecture at Stetson as part of the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series. Dr. Chambers spoke about innovations within the CMS.
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media/GardnerTrees-web.jpgProfessor Royal Gardner Co-Authors Briefing Note Urging for Wetland Conservation and Restoration
In April 2015, Professor Royal Gardner co-authored a briefing note with international scientists. The briefing note highlights the continuing loss and degradation of wetlands, and calls on policymakers to take action to conserve and protect wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide.
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Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lectures on Environmental and Natural Resources Law
On March 11, 2015, Ignacia Moreno spoke to Stetson students about her experience as an environmental attorney. She was formerly in charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice. Her lecture was part of the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series.
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For more articles, visit our News page. 

Service Opportunities

  • Service opportunities are available for students at a local, national, and international level. Recent projects include researching sea turtle protection legislation in Latin America and the Caribbean, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on endangered species issues in California, designating Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge as a Ramsar Site, and conducting beach clean-ups.

Courses and Scholarship

  • Stetson Law offers a wide range of environmental- and biodiversity-related courses, and Stetson offers a Certificate of Concentration in Environmental Law for select J.D. students who wish to focus their studies on environmental law.
  • Our faculty members teach courses such as Environmental Advocacy, International Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, and Wetland Law and Policy. Scholarship produced by Stetson faculty has real-world impacts on topics such as animal law, land use, and wetland mitigation.
  • Stetson students have the opportunity to serve as student editors of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy.
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