Claudia Ituarte-Lima is researcher on international environmental law at Stockholm Resilience Centre, and an advisor at SwedBio. Her research examines major legal and governance challenges for sustainability transformations and environmental justice. With a transdisciplinary approach and collaborating with various actors, her work assesses the way in which multilevel legal systems and principles support or inhibit transformations for sustainability with a focus on the new development agenda. She leads a SRC research project on safeguarding biodiversity equitably, which is developed in collaboration with University of Oxford, and funded by the Swedish Research Council (Formas).
She is particularly interested on the linkages of human rights with biodiversity and ecosystems and the transformation of international law into new governance forms at the national and local scales that support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Her research and associated work in law, policy and practice interfaces ranges from extensive on-the ground fieldwork; for example, in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Kenya and Senegal on environmental-related human rights issues; to comparative studies examining the interactions of safeguards in international financing mechanisms under biodiversity law (CBD) and climate law (UNFCCC).
Claudia holds a PhD (University College London), MPhil (University of Cambridge), and a Law Degree (U. Iberoamericana). She also received the Human Rights Award from the Washington College of Law. She is international public lawyer with theoretical and applied experience, in both multilateral and community-based initiatives. She has a wide range of publications, such as articles in international peer-reviewed academic journals, book chapters, policy reports, scientific commissions in the law, as well as policy and practice interface targeting a wide audience. She has published in English, Spanish and Japanese. Before joining SRC, She has been a researcher at United Nations University- Institute of advanced Studies in Japan and has worked as Legal Adviser at the Mexican Ministry of the Environment.
She has held visiting status at various academic institutions, including the Environmental Change Institute at University of Oxford in the UK, the Global Centre of Excellence Programme in Conflict Studies at Osaka University in Japan, ECOSUR in Mexico, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Ecuador; and is currently research associate at the Institute of Latin American Studies at Stockholm University.
Claudia acts as expert advisor for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and is a member of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' (IPBES) Expert Group on policy tools and methodologies. She has provided expert advice to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment and has been a member of the Committee of Experts of the Global Initiative on Legal Preparedness for Achieving the Aichi Targets of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
As part of her work with SwedBio at SRC, she is program officer for SwedBio’s collaborative partnerships with IDLO on advancing legal approaches to biodiversity mainstreaming, which includes the development of a legal assessment tool on human rights and biodiversity, and with Natural Justice on legal empowerment methodologies in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and India.
Awards and achievements:
Research news | 2018-01-24
Legal frameworks can protect rights of communities reliant on forest resources while still encouraging land owners and governments to curb deforestation
Research news | 2017-08-03
New study looks at ecological compensation, a novel legal and policy instrument, and how Sweden is using it to balance development and conservation of important biological and social areas
Research news | 2017-04-06
Resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council builds on first ever UN report addressing relationships between human rights and biodiversity
Research news | 2016-10-06
Centre contributes to UN expert consultation on human rights and sustainable use of biodiversity
2017 - Journal / article
International schemes for financing conservation and climate mitigation, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation and forest enhancement (REDD+), have generated concerns about the effect of large influxes of money on good governance, the human rights of local land users, and biodiversity. While there is agreement on the need for safeguards to prevent negative effects, how prescriptive or flexible those saf...
2017 - Journal / article
Ecological compensation (EC) is being explored as a policy instrument for the European Union’s ‘No Net Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ initiative. EC is commonly associated with the Polluter-Pays Principle, but we propose the Developer-Pays Principle as a more comprehensive principle. Safeguards that are relevant to local and national contexts are needed when addressing social-ecological resilience in the face of ...
2016 - Journal / article
This article analyses the Urgenda climate case in which the State of the Netherlands was ordered to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions with 25% by 2020. We seek to identify possibilities and limitations of national courts in contributing to safe and equitable operating spaces where humanity can thrive. We argue that this case, which links local initiatives and planetary challenges, is innovative in operationalizing legal conc...
2015 - Report
A broad definition of policy support tools and methodologies is necessary to support the development of a comprehensive catalogue and guide that is useful for policy makers, member states, allied organizations, NGOs, business and other stakeholders. This broad definition seeks to include all tools and methodologies that can contribute to desired outcomes for people and nature in relation to biodiversity and ecosystem services....