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Mr. Marc Pallemaerts, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes

Mr. Marc Pallemaerts, Special Rapporteur on Toxic WastesMr. Marc Pallemaerts is the UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes since November 2012.

Mr. Pallemaerts studied law and political science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Harvard University. He obtained degrees of Licentiate in Law (1983), Licentiate in Political Science (International Relations) (1989) and Master in International and Comparative Law (1984) from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Master of Laws (1985) from Harvard University, specializing in international and environmental law. He completed his doctorate in international and European environmental law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1999.

He has been professionally active in the field of environmental law since 1985, first as an academic researcher, and later as both researcher and lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is currently Professor of European environmental law at the University of Amsterdam and of European and international environmental law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is also Senior Fellow and head of the Global Issues and External Action Programme at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), an independent, non-profit research institute with offices in London and Brussels.

Mr. Pallemaerts joined government service in 1992 as staff member and legal adviser to successive Ministers of environment at regional and federal government level in Belgium. Most recently, from 1999 to 2003, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the federal State Secretary for Energy and Sustainable Development, with main responsibility for planning and coordination of sustainable development and international climate change policy. at the federal government level. During Belgium's Presidency of the European Union in 2001, he acted as Chairman of the EU Council Working Party on International Environmental Issues (Climate Change) and chief negotiator for the Belgian Presidency in the multilateral negotiations leading to the Bonn and Marrakech accords.

After leaving government employment, Mr. Pallemaerts continued to be involved in international and European environmental policy as an independent expert. From 2003 to 2005, he served as Chairman of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. In 2005, he was elected a member of the Kyoto Protocol Compliance Committee, and, in 2007, was appointed by the European Commission as the non-voting member of the Management Board of the European Chemicals Agency representing environmental and consumer protection organisations, a position he held until his appointment as an alternate and additional member of the Agency’s Board of Appeal in September 2008.

His main areas of expertise include: regulation of chemicals, climate change, environmental rights, and EU environmental policy and governance. He has published widely on these subjects in national and international journals. His books include Toxics and Transnational Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2003), EU and WTO Law: How Tight is the Legal Straitjacket for Environmental Product Regulation? (VUB University Press, Brussels, 2006) and The Aarhus Convention at Ten: Interactions and Tensions between Conventional International Law and EU Environmental Law (Europa Law Publishing, Groningen, 2011).