By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
Frontline energy law expert and global vice chair of the International Law Association, Professor Damilola Olawuyi (SAN), has unveiled his new book on environmental law and regulation in the oil and gas rich Arab, region.
Titled, Environmental Law in Arab States’, published by Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, the book provides legal assessments and reflections on how Arab countries can make 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.
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 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.
Prof. Olawuyi’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 commended the book for providing “a rare glimpse into a region where not many have information on.”
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 Olawuyi’s clear-eyed study on environmental law in Arab states is essential reading for those interested in environmental pressures facing the Arab region.
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, he said, could pose significant legal and business risks for clients and their lawyers alike, and may result in complex litigation.