Elsa Tsioumani

Research fellow

Elsa Tsioumani focuses on the intersection between international and European environmental law and agriculture, critically exploring legal developments in a social, political and economic context. She is particularly interested in:

  • conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity
  • agricultural research and development, access to genetic resources and fair and equitable benefit-sharing, and farmers’ rights
  • trade and intellectual property-related obstacles to the protection of agricultural biodiversity and traditional knowledge
  • new technologies including modern biotechnology, and biosafety-related issues
  • land tenure and community-level land and resource rights
  • common property regimes and customary systems for natural resource use

Elsa has been a Research Fellow in the 5-year BeneLex project since November 2013, exploring applications of fair and equitable sharing of benefits in the areas of land, food and agriculture. Additional research activities include contributions on dryland management to the Encyclopedia on Nature Conservation Law, and on public participation in environmental matters to the forthcoming Encyclopedia on Principles of Environmental Law; and an interdisciplinary publication exploring the open source development model in the agricultural field.

Elsa has been practicing law in the Bar of Thessaloniki, Greece, since 1998, including on cases involving community participation in water management and renewable energy projects. She has served as a consultant for FAO, IUCN, the Foundation of International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD), the UN-REDD Programme, and the United Nations University’s Traditional Knowledge Initiative. She has followed international environmental negotiations since 1999 for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services, including under the CBD, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Committee on World Food Security.

Elsa speaks Greek, French and Spanish.