Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy

Video: 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 Africa, Australia, Brazil, 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, and the next conference will be held at Stetson Law on April 13-14, 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 Nov. 12, 2015, Stetson hosted the third annual workshop.

Upcoming Events

Please join us for the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series:

  • March 1, 2016, at noon - Dr. Anne Meylan, Senior Research Scientist, FFWCC, Florida - "Florida’s global importance as a nesting site for sea turtles: The challenge of preserving the beaches"
  • April 13, 2016, in the evening - Elizabeth Gitari, Legal Manager, WildlifeDirect, Kenya - "Innovations in Prosecution of International Wildlife Crime Perpetrators"

The Foreman Biodiversity Lectures are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend, RSVP to

Recent News

media/randall_arauz_cropped.jpgRandall Arauz Presents Foreman Biodiversity Lecture at Stetson about Shark Finning
On January 26, 2016, Randall Arauz, who is the president of PRETOMA, spoke to students, professors, and members of the community about the challenges and successes of Costa Rica's shark finning campaign.
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Director of Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy Attends Meeting at U.N. in New York
Professor Royal Gardner, director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, spoke about wetlands at a meeting of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) in New York on Nov. 20, 2015. The meeting of world leaders included Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and others.
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» Watch Video of Professor Gardner's Remarks


Stetson Law Hosts Wetlands Workshop
On Nov. 12, 2015, Stetson Law hosted the Third Annual ELI-Stetson Wetlands Workshop. The topic was "Wetlands Mitigation and Long-Term Stewardship: Financial Challenges and Title Issues." Regulators, industry experts, wetland scientists, attorneys, law students, and graduate students from Florida and around the country attended the event.
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media/rodrigo_medellin_cropped_2015.jpgDr. Rodrigo A. Medellín, the "Bat Man of Mexico," Discusses the Importance of Biological Diversity
Dr. Medellín, Senior Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Ecology, UNAM, and the Past President of the Society for Conservation Biology, presented at Stetson Law as part of the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series on Oct. 22, 2015. He spoke about conservation science and why biological diversity is important. Dr. Medellín provided examples of several successful conservation research projects that have protected different species.
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media/gardner_strp_photo_fall2015_cropped.jpgStetson Professor Royal Gardner Reappointed as Chair of Scientific Advisory Body of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Royal Gardner, professor of law and director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, has been reappointed as chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. One of 18 appointed experts, Professor Gardner will serve as chair for the 2016-2018 triennium.
» Read More

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.