Filipino named int’l arbitrator for environmental disputes

antonio la viña
INTERNATIONAL ROLE. Ateneo School of Government dean Antonio La Viña has been named an arbitrator on environmental issues in a special panel based in The Hague. File photo by Rappler
Outgoing Ateneo School of Government dean Antonio La Viña joins the specialized panel of arbitrators for environmental disputes at the Permanent Court of Arbitration

MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 15, 2016) — From one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, a leading climate negotiator has been named an arbitrator on environmental issues in a special panel based in The Hague.

A Filipino – outgoing Ateneo School of Government dean Antonio La Viña – has been made a member of the specialized panel of arbitrators for environmental disputes at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

The PCA is also the site of hearings on the Philippines’ case against China over the West Philippine Sea.

In a Facebook post on Monday, February 15, La Viña said he was nominated by the Philippine government to this new role.

“The secret of keeping my sanity amid the viciousness of our politics is being able to do highly technical work like this,” he said.

The specialized panel described La Viña as “a veteran environmental and human rights lawyer and scholar, with 25 years of extensive experience on environmental negotiations, litigation, and arbitration.”

La Viña, a former environment undersecretary of the Philippines, has been dean of the Ateneo School of Government since 2006. He also teaches law in the leading various universities in the Philippines.

He has also been a regular writer for the Thought Leaders section of Rappler.

Explaining La Viña’s new role, the PCA said its rules “provide for the establishment of a specialized list of arbitrators considered to have expertise” on the environment and natural resources.


rappler_64  by Paterno Esmaquel II | Rappler.com