UNDP launches “climate justice” training for young lawyers

June 9, 2023

New program treats a healthy environment as a fundamental human right

Ankara, 9 June 2023 – In an effort to engage the tools of the legal system in the quest to protect people and planet from the destructive impact of climate change, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a pioneering seminar on the topic of “climate justice” for young law students in Türkiye. The week-long course aims to educate future lawyers on how to protect the rights of individuals and communities that are threatened by climate change and to induce governments and companies to adopt more climate-friendly policies and practices.

The “Environmental Law and Climate Justice Seminar Program,” taking place on 5-11 June 2023 in Ankara, is organized with financial support from the Netherlands and in partnership with the Ankara Bar Association and the University of Economics and Technology operated by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB ETU). Topics covered by 12 expert lecturers include environmental and climate law and international climate agreements. Interest in the seminar has been keen; 138 law students and young lawyers applied to participate.

“A healthy environment is a fundamental human right, as affirmed by the UN General Assembly last year,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “In a global context in which carbon emissions and temperatures continue to rise, our aim is to show how litigation based on this principle can be used to advance the climate agenda.” 

“Climate change requires a global rights-based approach,” said Patty Zandstra, Acting Deputy Head of Mission at the Dutch Embassy. “To succeed, we need to strengthen the capacity of legal practitioners in environmental law.”

The seminar is part of a larger UNDP project devoted to climate justice in Türkiye. The next activity will be an essay competition on environmental law, climate justice and disaster law organized by Bilkent University’s Law Faculty. Interested law students and law faculty graduates may make submissions until 12 June.

For more UNDP resources on environmental justice (in English), please visit:

For more information: 

Bahar Paykoç, Communications Officer for UNDP in Türkiye, bahar.paykoc@undp.org