H. E. Donald Kaniaru

ICEL Representative in Nairobi

Mr. Donald W. Kaniaru is the Managing Partner at Kaniaru & Kaniaru Advocates. He worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for over 28 years in diverse legal, diplomatic, and operational management roles, including as Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation and of the Division on Environmental Conventions. He also served as Special Senior Legal Adviser to the Executive Director of UNEP. 

He actively participated in the preparation of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm and thereafter the establishment  of UNEP in Nairobi. 

Over several decades, the United Nations and the UNEP Governing Council held a series of Environment Conferences to define the Programme and Sustainable Development policies and measures. In the process numerous global and regional conventions, protocols and agreements in diverse environmental areas were concluded.

Simultaneously at national level capacity building was enhanced across the globe and regions; and Mr. Kaniaru and fellow colleagues were fully integrated.

Mr. Kaniaru is a member of several professional and environmental bodies, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Commission on Environmental Law and the International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL), for which he serves as representative to the UN in Kenya. He served as Chairman of the Kenya National Environmental Tribunal from 2005 to 2013 and made substantial contributions to the development of environmental law in Kenya during this period. He also served as a Trustee of the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL) since 2004 and is a Trustee of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. 

His achievements as a member of the icipe Governing Council (GC) reflect his diverse and unique background and experience. Mr. Kaniaru played a vital role in supporting the GC, and stewarded the Centre’s growth and development between 2004 and 2018. He helped develop and improve operational management procedures, policies and institutional mechanisms in his role on the GC and its Executive Board, and as Vice Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee. Mr. Kaniaru has received various awards and recognitions for his contributions to the development and advancement in the field of international environmental law, including the Elizabeth Haub Prize for International Law (2009) and the CIEL International Environmental Law Award (2010). He has authored several articles and book chapters, co-edited the two-volume seminal book ‘Making law work- environmental compliance and sustainable development (2005) and edited The Montreal Protocol – Celebrating 20 Years of Environmental Progress – Ozone Layer And Climate Protection (2007) and in 2021 was nominated for the Montreal Protocol Who’s Who.

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