Advancing principles of environmental ethics in law and life.


Our Logo
Our logo is an image of a growing, living, evolving body of laws and policies, whose text is guided by principles of environmental ethics, and the people and places they represent.
Roots of the BEI
There are certain individuals that must be acknowledged for their foundational contributions and support to the work of the BEI: Honorable Sheila Abed; Honorable Antonio Herman Benjamin; Dr. Patrick Blandin; Dr. Klaus Bosselmann; Dr. Strachan Donnelley; Dr. Nigel Dower; Dr. J. Ronald Engel; Kathryn Gwiazdon, Esq.; Dr. Mayyada Abu Jaber; Dr. Brendan Mackey; Dr. Jeffrey McNeely; Karla Monteiro Matos, M.Sc.; Dr. Razeena Omar; Dr. George Rabb; Dr. Laurel Ross; and Dr. Michael Schroter.
Our origins
Much of the work and motivation for CEEL began in 2004 when the IUCN Comité français drafted and passed a Resolution to create a Code of Ethics for Biodiversity Conservation. IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, was founded in 1948 and is the oldest and largest environmental organization in the world. Based out of Gland, Switzerland, it is a membership-driven organization that is made up of a Secretariat, Commissions, and a large membership body, including governments, non-governments, and indigenous peoples' organizations.

After its adoption, the 2004 Resolution was unpacked by the Ethics Specialist Group (ESG) of the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) of IUCN, and the US-based Center for Humans and Nature, which led to the creation of the Biosphere Ethics Initiative (BEI), a soft law program and process (the Relato methodology) that aims to highlight existing ethics in action in different locales around the world, and share them with an ever-expanding network of decision-makers, individuals, and organizations. The scholarly research has supported the on-the-ground elements of the program since its inception. In 2012, the IUCN Congress adopted the BEI and the Relato Methodology as a guiding initiative to its policy and programming.

CEEL leads the work of the BEI as an independent initiative, working within a vast network of partner organizations, scholars and practitioners to advance environmental ethics in law, program, policy, and life.
Partnership Organizations and Projects
CEEL works within a vast multi-sectoral network of partner organizations and projects that directly and indirectly share in developing and advancing principles of environmental ethics.