2006 International Environmental Law Award Recipient – Raúl Estrada-Oyuela
Raúl Estrada-Oyuela was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated in law from the National University of Buenos Aires, and served in Argentina’s embassies in the United States, Austria, Brazil and Chile. Mr. Estrada-Oyuela was a member of the National Commission on Global Change of the Argentine Republic, and has served in Buenos Aires, inter alia, as Deputy Director for South American Affairs, Deputy Director General for International Organizations, Director General of the Special Unit on Environment in the Foreign Ministry, Director General for Cultural Affairs, and currently serves as Ambassador at large for Environmental Negotiations.
Devoting much of his time to international negotiations on environmental matters, Mr. Estrada-Oyuela has attended and chaired numerous international conventions and committee meetings on climate change and other environmental issues. He was elected Vice-Chairman of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (INC/FCCC), Chairman of the Committee of the Whole of First the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM). In 1997 he was chairman of the Committee of the Whole of the Kyoto Conference, where he lead a U.N. effort to get 160 countries to jointly address the issue of global warming at meetings in Kyoto, Japan. He presided over a two week conference which resulted in the unanimous agreement on the Kyoto Protocol. “Estrada is a grandmaster of diplomacy and the godfather of Kyoto,” says David Sandalow, an assistant secretary of state under Clinton, who helped negotiate the agreement. “It wouldn’t have happened without his leadership, excellent judgment and good humor.”
In 1998 Mr. Estrada-Oyuela was appointed Distinguished Lecturer on the Global Community and Its Challenges at the Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, and visiting professor, Program on Information and Resources, Columbia University, 1999-2000.
Mr. Estrada-Oyuela continues to play a leading role in climate change talks. In 2004 he headed the Argentine delegation which presided over the 10th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-10). In 2006 the Argentine Foreign Ministry’s office on environmental affairs, directed by Mr. Estrada-Oyuela, presented some 20 research studies to civil society organizations, the basis for drawing up the second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.