19 Jul 2018 Story Environmental rights and governance

UN Environment goes to school – spreading the use of UN information portal on multilateral environmental agreements (InforMEA) in universiti...

Existing multilateral environmental agreements

UN Environment began outreach activities for InforMEA, an information and knowledge management initiative that brings together multilateral environmental agreements (MEA), and whose aim is to develop harmonized and interoperable information systems for the benefit of MEA’s parties and the environment community at large. UN Environment collaborated with the University of Nairobi, Strathmore University, Riara University, and Mount Kenya University. To date, over 200 students and more than 10 members of staff have participated in the InforMEA presentations and discussions.

The InforMEA presentations have enabled deans, lecturers and students to gain an in-depth look at the platform which provides unlimited free access to over 130,000 national laws and regulations and over 2,000 national court decisions related to multilateral environmental agreements.

There was little awareness among the university fraternity across Africa, including Kenya, of InforMEA and its usefulness to students of law and environmental studies. By integrating InforMEA content and courses into tertiary curricula in schools of law and environmental studies, InforMEA potentially increased its user numbers exponentially. In addition, by introducing InforMEA to students, they are more likely to use InforMEA in legal practice, policy development, and research as their careers progress.

Feedback from outreach activities in Nairobi, Kenya

“I would like to express my appreciation for your visit to our campus and for the presentation,” commented Francis Khayundi, environmental law professor at Riara University, after an information seminar. “I will certainly make use of InforMEA in my classes in the future.”

“[InforMEA is] very helpful, considering the fact that this semester we are tackling environmental law, so it was an eye-opener to us in terms of getting the materials,” added Sharon Migariza, a final year student at Mount Kenya University’s School of Law. “[The presentation on InforMEA] came just at the right time! We were given an assignment by our lecturer to give a summary on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and to get all the material from InforMEA. It was easy to use InforMEA. I think it is a perfect tool for students who are interested in environment. We were privileged to have a brief about InforMEA, which made it easier to use the platform.”

“InforMEA is a portal that really helped us, especially in the scrutiny of climate change issues,” said Evelyne Kogi, also a final year student at Mount Kenya University’s School of Law. “It really helped us understand what the [United Nations] Framework [Convention on Climate Change] contains, how many parties have ratified it and who are the parties to [the Convention], the conferences that have been held, and those that are yet to be held in the future. InforMEA is really easy to use. When you want information on the environment, just log onto InforMEA and you will find it there!”

For more information, please contact Eva.Duer[at]un.org or Iddah.Kamau [at] un.org or Lilian.Onyango [at] un.org.