Mr Veit Koester, Denmark

03 July 2012 | News story

Veit Koester is a Danish lawyer who headed the Ecological Division of the National Forest and Nature Agency for 20 years where he led work on national conservation issues and represented Denmark on the world conservation scene.

He has made significant contributions to international environmental treaty law, notably through his key role in negotiating and implementing the Migratory Species Convention, the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the Bern Convention on European Wildlife. He presided over the negotiation of the portion of the Convention on Biological Diversity resulting inter alia in the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) system, while also being instrumental in the negotiations of the Biosafety Protocol and of the Aarhus Convention.

An early member of IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law (IUCN-CEL), he assisted efforts to build environmental law at international and national levels, as well as to document and promote national legislation through IUCN publications. He participated in IUCN’s work on cutting-edge legal issues, such as explanatory guides to newly adopted international instruments (CBD, Biosafety, ABS) and the modernization of national biodiversity-relevant legislation. He was an IUCN Regional Councillor for West Europe (1988-1994), as well as CEL Steering Committee Member from 2007-2009.

Retired since 2003, he remains active in the international environmental field, particularly through past and present chairmanships of several MEA (Multilateral Environment Agreement) Compliance Committees and lecturing as well as publishing articles on international environmental law issues., Recent publications include an analysis the most recent one analysingof the Nagoya Protocol on ABS, and ratification by the EU and its Member States and implementation challenges; and . He published a couple of years ago a commentary of 1500 pages to the Danish Nature Protection Act.

Veit Koester has received a number of awards includinginter alia the UNEP Global 500 Award (1996), the Elizabeth Haub Award for Environmental Diplomacy (1999) and the Environmental Law Prize of the Danish Society for Environmental Law (2010).