There has been significant growth in multilateral and bilateral agreements, national legislation, international ‘soft law’ documents, and law and policy literature as well as related court decisions.
Yet much of this wealth of information is difficult to access, even for those whose profession is to develop and implement national legal mechanisms. Particularly in developing countries and transition economies, government officials, environmental managers, non-profit institutions and academia lack easy access to the legal information they need to develop the legal tools necessary for environmental management.
In response, IUCN, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Environment Programme are developing ECOLEX — an internet-based information service that is also referred to as “the gateway to environmental law”. It is the most comprehensive global source of information on national and international environmental and natural resources law.