Interfor Conference: Forests at the Crossroads of International Law

Interfor Conference

The protection of forests is recognised to be of utmost importance in the agenda of the United Nations (UN), and in particular the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate change goals. SDG15 aims to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. Despite this recognition, forest protection is, in legal terms, rather scattered. In the context of forest environmental and climate governance, a mix of various layers of legal instruments with different goals exists, at the local, regional and global levels. Beyond environmental and climate governance, other areas of law have direct implications for forests, such as human rights or sustainable development. 

As a result, one of the main current challenges is to make sure that the interactions between different layers of legal protection run smoothly, enhancing synergies and avoiding conflicts, in order to prevent further environmental degradation of forested lands. It is also crucial to understand how the various areas of international law applicable to forests take shape when implemented in forested lands. 

This workshop therefore aims at understanding how the different areas of international law (including transnational and regional law) engage with forests and what these different layers of protection mean for the protection of forests. This line of enquiry will enable us to make sense of the links, tensions and opportunities that the many initiatives from regional, transnational and international entities entail, and provide for an assessment of the impacts of those various areas of law are, not individually, but as a whole.

Papers that touch upon the impacts of different legal frameworks on the protection of forests are welcome, from human rights to biodiversity, climate justice, sustainability, and beyond.

The 2-day workshop will be held in Copenhagen, at the Faculty of Law, on the 4th and 5th September 2023. It will be possible to join online for those you cannot travel, as the event will be held in a hybrid manner.

Abstracts of no more than 600 words are to be submitted by the 31st March 2023 to  Together with their abstracts, applicants should provide the following information: first name/surname, affiliation, the title of the proposed paper and an email address. Abstracts should address the research question, theory, methods, and practical or scholarly significance of the study.

Papers will be due by 21st August 2023. They should not exceed 11.000 words.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the organiser, Dr Justine Bendel, Marie Curie Fellow, University of Copenhagen. Email address:


Everyone is welcome to join, but registration is required.