I, along with former Managing Editor, John Bowie, have the unique opportunity to represent Pace and the environmental law review at the 12th Annual International Union for Conservation of Nature Academy of Environmental Law (IUCNAEL) conference in Tarragona, Spain.
The conference is hosted by Rovira i Virgili University from June 30 to July 4th, 2014. This year’s conference focuses on “Energy for a Fair Society on a Safe Planet” and throughout the conference, presenters and participants will be asked to “look critically at key issues raised by the energy crisis and the environment.” The setting in Tarragona is especially relevant as the city embodies the union of the old and the new, the vibrancy of modern Spanish culture and tradition set upon Roman ruins. Though the conference kicks off this morning, several workshops and side events have been provided over the course of the past two days. Yesterday, the conference provided a workshop on the current state of hydrofracking across the globe. Four panels of practitioners and professors presented technical, environmental, and legal issues related to the expanding hydraulic fracturing economy. Specific issues included application of common law property rights, burdens of proof in enforcement actions, and environmental justice concerns. Our own Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger made several comments pointing to the presenters’ overly optimistic views on fracking and their failure to discuss the real negative implications resulting from fracking, including drinking water contamination, methane emissions, and general water usage.
Later, we attended a small roundtable discussion about the future of environmental legal publications, specifically ways of transitioning to online publications without losing credibility and finding avenues of inter-journal cooperation. If you have any input on the subject, we welcome your comments, so please reach out!
The day concluded with a Castell demonstration followed by a conference kick-off reception. Castell is the unique Catalonia tradition of building and dismantling a “human tower.” Troupes practice and compete to build towers with only their bodies that can span the height of 6 standing people! It was extremely impressive, and the crowd of conference-goers was excited and thrilled to observe!
Keep following us as we post more about our IUCNAEL experience!
**For more information about the conference: http://www.iucnael2014.cat/