Maha Husain

Research Associate
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About

Maha Husain is the Team Lead of the Climate & Environment Initiative (CEI) and a Research Associate at RSIL’s Lahore Office. CEI publishes reports, policy papers and insights relating to international and domestic developments in climate change and environmental law. Maha is also the Editor of the CEI Blog, host of CEI’s podcast series ‘mahauliyati mukalmay’, and CEI book club series, which features discussions with Pakistani and international authors about their books and research. Maha manages RSIL’s project work on Access to Environmental Justice, which involves developing research reports, organising consultations and conducting training workshops. 

Maha was selected as one of twenty young leaders from across Asia-Pacific and the United States to join the 2024 Asia Foundation LeadNext Fellows: Ambassadors for a Global Future cohort. As part of the fellowship, Maha will build international networks and develop leadership tools to further her work on environmental justice. Through her research work, Maha has gotten the opportunity to represent Pakistan at the 3rd Asia Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders Forum 2023, organised by UN Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN ESCAP (August 2023), where she discussed challenges and opportunities to realise procedural environmental rights across South Asia. Maha also presented her research assessing IHL principles on the protection of the natural environment during armed conflict from a TWAIL perspective at the 8th Advanced International Humanitarian Law South Asian Academics Platform (AISAAP), organised by the ICRC and APJIHL (May 2023). Maha is a co-organiser of RSIL’s Women in International Law Mentoring Programme, which seeks to support young female lawyers in Pakistan in pursuing careers in international law. 

In 2023, Maha was awarded a grant from the Storytelling Initiative at the Leadership & Learning for Sustainability Lab at McGill University & STFX University (supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada) and received mentorship to produce a podcast that centres the voices and work of those on the frontlines of socio-environmental crises in Pakistan. The podcast, which follows grassroots organisers and activists in their journey of protecting the Dingi and Bhundaar islands (also referred to as Buddu and Bundal) from real estate construction, was shared during a panel discussion titled “Community Podcasting from the Storytelling Initiative: A Gallery of Frontline Podcasts from Around the World” at the Transformations Conference 2023. Maha also served as a Max Thabiso Edkins Climate Ambassador for 2023, where she implemented climate actions in her community with mentorship from the Global Youth Climate Network (GYCN). 

Maha studied law at the undergraduate level at the University of Cambridge (Downing College), where she was elected to the title of a Scholar and has since obtained numerous climate change and environmental certifications from institutions, including the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, Climate Law and Governance Initiative, and Griffith University. Maha has also worked as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Chinese Legal Studies and a Teaching Assistant for a Climate Change and Environmental Law and Policy course at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School Of Law (SAHSOL) at LUMS. 

Maha’s research interests include climate change and environmental law, public international law and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). 

Work

Writings

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