Workshop Participants

Key information

About this event

Alberto Asquer

Dr Alberto Asquer teaches Public Policy and Management at SOAS. His major focus of study is public policy and management especially in the political economy of regulation and regulatory reforms, public policy implementation, public management.

Annukka Lipponen

Dr Annukka Lipponen is the Environmental Affairs Officer in the secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Trans-boundary Watercourses and International Lakes in United Nations Economic Commission on Europe Her responsibilities include implementation of diverse interventions that assist countries in improving cooperation in managing transboundary waters, in particular related to monitoring and assessment as well as capacity-building in general. The geographical focus of these activities is in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Prior to this, she has worked with the Finnish Environment Institute and as an Assistant Environment Specialist with UNESCO. Dr Lipponen holds an MSc in geology and a PhD from the University of Helsinki. Her specialization is hydrogeology and groundwater management.

Birsha Ohdedar

Birsha Ohdedar holds bachelors degrees in Law and Political Studies from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and a master’s degree in law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He has worked previously as a solicitor at a major law firm and at a community legal centre in Auckland, New Zealand. He has also previously interned with the Alternative Law Forum and EQUATIONS in Bangalore. His research interests include water, sanitation, human rights and the environment, and climate change.

Daanish Mustafa

Dr Daanish Mustafa is a Reader in Politics and Environment in the Environment, Politics, and Development Research Group, Department of Geography, King’s College, London. He obtained his BA in Geography from Middlebury College in Vermont, USA. He worked for two years in Pakistan for the non-profit sector on donor funded social development and environmental preservation projects. He subsequently obtained his MA in Geography from the University of Hawaii-Manoa in 1995 and his PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA in 2000. He was a visiting assistant professor of geography at George Mason University, and then an assistant professor of geography, at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, before joining the Department of Geography at King’s College, London in 2006. His research interests lie at the intersection of environmental hazards, water resources and development geography.

Gabriel Eckstein

Gabriel Eckstein is a professor of law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, in Fort Worth, TX, where he specializes in water and environmental law and policy at both the US and international levels. He has served as an expert advisor and consultant on US and international environmental and water issues to various organizations and programs, including the Geneva Initiative, the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), the UN International Law Commission (ILC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), World Commission on Dams, Organization of American States (OAS), the UNESCO/OAS ISARM Americas Programme, and various local water entities in the United States. Prior to joining Texas Wesleyan University, Professor Eckstein held the George W. McCleskey Chair in Water Law at Texas Tech University where he also directed the Texas Tech University Center for Water Law & Policy. Before that, he served as Senior Counsel for CropLife America, an agrichemical trade association trade association, working on environmental regulation and legislative matters, and as a litigator in private practice working on environmental, toxic tort, and asbestos cases. Currently, Professor Eckstein also serves as director of the Internet-based International Water Law Project, and is on the executive boards of the International Water Resources Association and the International Association for Water Law. Professor Eckstein holds LLM and JD degrees from American University’s Washington College of Law, MS in International Affairs from Florida State University, and a BS in Geology from Kent State University. He is admitted to the bars of New York, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Jenny Grönwall

Jenny Grönwall is a Programme Manager working with the thematic area of water, energy and food nexus at the Stockholm International Water Institute. Her fields of experience include applied research projects in developing and middle-income countries, on sustainable development, urban and peri-urban water management, urban water utilities and institutions, water, sanitation and health aspects, groundwater policy and governance. Dr Grönwall has extensive experience from doing field work, conducting interviews and surveys especially among poor end-users of water.
Dr Grönwall obtained her interdisciplinary PhD in Water Management from the Department of Water and Environmental Studies (Tema Vatten) at Linköping University in 2008. She has an LLB and LLM degree (jur. kand) from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the Gothenburg University. Prior to joining SIWI, Dr Grönwall worked with household water conservation at the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, Abu Dhabi. She has been a consultant with the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development as well as the Singapore-based Institute of Water Policy. She has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) before teaching environmental law mainly at the universities of Linköping (the Environmental Science Programme at Campus Norrköping) and Stockholm (Department of Law). Dr Grönwall has published numerous articles and reports related to access to water, development and poverty alleviation, groundwater and urban water governance, with a geographical focus on India.

Joseph Dellapenna

Joseph Dellapenna is a Professor of Law at Villanova University of School of Law. Professor Dellapenna's scholarly interests focus on water management and on international and comparative law. He has taught and held positions at several universities in the US and abroad. He is the only person ever to be a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Law in both the People's Republic of China (at Jilin University, 1987-88) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) (at National Chengchi University, 1978-79). He was also a Fulbright Senior Researcher in Law at the Directory-General of Natural Resources, Republic of Portugal (1990). Among the honours he has received, he is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation. Professor Dellapenna was the Rapporteur for the Water Resources Committee of the International Law Association with the charge to redraft the Helsinki Rules on transboundary water management.
Prof. Dellapenna’s contribution to scholarship has been immense. He has written on a broad range of constitutional, environmental and international subjects, and he has made public presentations at numerous national and international meetings. His publications include: Suing Foreign Governments and their Corporations, (2nd ed. 2002); Waters and Water Rights (2001) (co-author); Water Rights in the Eastern United States (1998) (co-author); Natural Resources Law Manual (1997) (co-author); and Abortion and the Constitution (1987) (co-author).

Kerstin Mechlem

Kerstin Mechlem joined the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI), University of Ulster as a Lecturer in October 2007. Prior to joining the TJI Kerstin worked for two years as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and for five years as a Legal Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. Kerstin also delivered courses on international law for IDLO and UNITAR and continues to work as a consultant for FAO. She studied law in Bonn, Lausanne and Bogotá and completed her German legal education with a first and second state examination in law (Erstes und Zweites Juristisches Staatsexamen). She also holds a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Kerstin’s main research interests lie in the fields of international human rights law as well as international environmental, surface and groundwater law.

Lovleen Bhullar

Lovleen Bhullar is visiting faculty at the National Law University, Delhi. She is also working on environmental law and policy issues in India and the ASEAN region in her capacity as a researcher with the Environmental Law Research Society, New Delhi and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, National University of Singapore (NUS) respectively. She has previously worked as an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law, NUS and as a Research Associate with the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Lovleen holds a BA LLB (Hons) from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, an LLM in Environmental Law from SOAS and an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

MJ Mace

MJ Mace is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Law, SOAS and is a lawyer and independent consultant. She has provided legal advice and assistance to the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) in the international climate change negotiations for over ten years and has been a member of the Kyoto Protocol Compliance Committee since 2006. From 2003-2008 she headed the Climate Change and Energy Programme at the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) in London.  From 1995-2001 she worked for the National Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, first for the FSM Supreme Court and then as an Assistant Attorney General.  She has also worked as an Associate at Earth Justice in New Orleans and as an Associate at Skadden, Arps in Washington DC, where she practiced environmental and international trade law. MJ holds a BA from Yale, a JD from the University of Chicago and is a member of the New York State, Washington DC and Federated States of Micronesia Bars.

Nirmala Rao

Prof. Nirmala Rao is Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching), SOAS. She took her first degree in Economics at Delhi University and received her MA and MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She completed her PhD at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. In 1994 she joined the Politics Department at Goldsmiths College where she was elected as an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences in 2003. She has published extensively in the field of urban governance and has served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). She currently serves as a Trustee of the Learning from Experience Trust, and is a member of the Governing Bodies of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and the Institute of Education, University of London.

Owen McIntyre

Dr Owen McIntyre is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law, Land-Use Planning Law, Equity, Comparative (French and German) Law at the Faculty of Law, University College Cork. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of Irish and international journals and has been involved in a number of research projects funded by the Irish Higher Education Authority and the Irish Environment Protection Agency, and on behalf of the Heritage Council and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. He regularly acts a consultant for the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, EU, SIDA and GTZ in the areas of Environmental Law and Water Resources Law. Since 2004, he has served a member of the EBRD Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM). In 2008, he was designated a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency. He has published widely on environmental law issues. Dr Owen McIntyre holds a LLB (Hons) degree from University College Galway and a PhD from the University of Manchester.

Philippe Cullet

Prof. Philippe Cullet is Professor of International and Environmental Law at SOAS. He holds an LLM from King’s College, an MA in Development Studies from SOAS, and a JSD from Stanford University. He is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and the convenor of the International Environmental Law Research Centre (IELRC). Professor Cullet’s main areas of interest include environmental law, natural resources, human rights and the socio-economic aspects of intellectual property. He works on these at the international level and in India. His current research includes work on water law and governance with a particular focus on groundwater, drinking water, sanitation and institutional reforms in India; equity in environmental law; biodiversity, including benefit sharing and biosafety; and justice, with a particular focus on environmental and water rights.
Philippe convenes the Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC) and is the Editor of the Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD Journal), a peer-reviewed academic journal published at He has been closely involved in policymaking and was, for instance, the Convenor of the Sub-group on Legal Issues Related to Groundwater Management and Regulation of the Planning Commission of India that prepared the draft Model Bill for the Conservation, Protection and Regulation of Groundwater, 2011, and a Member of the Planning Commission of India’s Sub-group that prepared the draft National Water Framework Law, 2011.
Philippe has published widely in his various areas of research. His books include Water Law, Poverty and Development – Water Law Reforms in India (Oxford University Press, 2009), Intellectual Property Protection and Sustainable Development (Butterworths, 2005) and Differential Treatment in International Environmental Law (Ashgate, 2003).

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor is professor of hydrogeology at the Department of Geography, University College London. He did his PhD from the University of Toronto. Currently, his research is mainly on the impact of climate change and rapid development on freshwater resources with a particular focus on natural stores of freshwater (eg groundwater); and the role of groundwater in improving access to safe water and food security. He has published extensively on groundwater from science and policy perspectives. He holds significant positions in various professional bodies and committees. He is a Co-Chair of IAH Commission on Groundwater and Climate Change and part of the Expert Panel, UNESCO-IHP GRAPHIC Programme (Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity & Climate Change). He was an expert reviewer of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Shaminder Puri

Shaminder Puri is the Secretary General of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). He gained a postgraduate degree in Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology at Warsaw University in 1970 and a further master’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham, UK. He taught on the MSc in Hydrogeology at the University of London until 1973 and was Deputy Team Leader of Resource Planning in Southern Water Authority until 1978. He was a recipient of two Royal Society grants for assessment of European groundwater programmes. He has been a Member of IAH since 1972. His 40 years of experience in hydro-environmental management covers managerial, advisory and technical work. He was elected Secretary General of IAH in 2008 and chaired the Commission on Transboundary Aquifer Resources Management (TARM) from 1998 to 2011. The work of the TARM Programme contributed to the UN General Assembly’s adoption of Draft Articles on the Use of Transboundary Aquifers.

Srikrishna Deva Rao

Prof. Srikrishna Deva Rao is the Registrar of the National Law University, Delhi. Prof Rao holds a masters degree in Law from Kakatiya University, Master of Philosophy in Law from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and PhD from Delhi University. Prof Rao was the founding Director of School of Law at IGNOU, New Delhi from May 2007 to May 2010. He has worked with three National Law Schools in India - Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, in addition to a short stint at Delhi University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, both in Delhi. He is a member of the University Grants Commission (UGC) expert committee to transform legal education in India. He was a consultant to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Swedish Development Cooperation (SDC), Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), Child Rights and You (CRY) and Swedish National Science Foundation (SNSF). His areas of specialisation include Criminal Law, Human Rights, Community Legal Education and Law, Science and Technology.

Stefano Burchi

Stefano Burchi is the Executive Chairman of the International Association for Water Law (AIDA). He is an internationally recognised expert in comparative and international water law. From 1983 to 2008, he served in the Development Law Service of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization where he concluded his tenure as Service Chief. At FAO, Mr Burchi served as in-house legal expert and advisor on domestic and international water law to FAO member countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. His work included reviewing, analysing, and drafting principal and subsidiary water resources legislation, as well as advising on legal and institutional mechanisms related to transboundary freshwaters. In addition, Mr Burchi advised various organisations and programs on global and transboundary water issues, including the UN International Law Commission, UNESCO/ISARM Programme, and the World Bank.
Mr Burchi has authored numerous publications on water resources law and administration, including FAO Legislative Study Nos. 52 and 80 on "Preparing national regulations for water resources management: Principles and Practice", and Legislative Study No. 86 on "Groundwater in International Law: Compilation of Treaties and Other Legal Instruments". Since 1995, he has contributed an annual Fresh Water section to the "Year in Review" feature of the Yearbook of International Environmental Law, and since 2001, an annual Year-End-Review to the Journal of Water Law.
Mr Burchi holds an LLB from La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, an LLM from Harvard Law School, and an MS from the University of Michigan.

Sujith Koonan

Sujith Koonan is a doctoral candidate in the School of Law at SOAS. He worked at Amity Law School, Noida where he taught Environmental Law and Public International Law. He also worked as a Law Researcher with Environmental Law Research Society (ELRS), New Delhi where he coordinated a three-year project (2009-12) on water law reforms in India. He is an Associate Editor of the Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD) – a joint publication of School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and International Environmental Law Research Centre, Geneva. He holds an MPhil (International Law) from Centre for International Legal Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and an LLM (Environmental Law and Human Rights) from Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin. His work on water laws led him to be invited to be a member of the Working Group on Water Governance constituted by the Planning Commission of India (Government of India) for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017).
Mr Koonan’s main areas of interest include environmental law, natural resources and human rights. His recent research has been mainly on law and policy framework relating to water and sanitation and he has published his research in various reputed national and international publications. His publications include Water Law in India – An Introduction to Legal Instruments (Co-editor) (2011) and Delhi Water Supply Reforms: Public Private Partnerships or Privatisation? (2012).  His publications can be accessed at

Tony Allan

Tony Allan [BA Durham 1958, PhD London 1971] heads the London Water Research Group at King's College London and SOAS. He specialises in the analysis of water resources in semi-arid regions and on the role of global systems in ameliorating local and regional water deficits. He pointed out that water short economies achieve water and food security mainly by importing water intensive food commodities and coined the concept virtual water. He provides advice to governments and agencies especially in the Middle East on water policy and water policy reform. His ideas on water security are set out in The Middle East water question: hydropolitics and the global economy [2001] and in a recent book entitled Virtual water [2011].  He has also addressed recent water and land grabbing in the co-edited Handbook on land and water grabbing in Africa [2012]. He is currently working on why the accounting systems in our food supply chains are dangerously blind to the costs of water and of misallocating it. He also works on the water/energy nexus. In 2008 he was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in recognition of his contribution to water science and water policy. In 2011 he became International Academic Correspondent of the Academy of Sciences of Spain. In 2013 he received the international Environmentalist Award of the Florence based Foundation associated with the Gardens of Bardini & Peyron and the Monaco Water Award of Prince Albert II of Monaco.