Kees Bastmeijer

Kees Bastmeijer


1990 …2021

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Personal profile

Research interests

Kees Bastmeijer is Professor of Nature Conservation and Water Law at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. The two main pillars of his research relate to the role of international, European and domestic law in protecting nature and to legal aspects of the international governance of the Polar Regions (the Antarctic and the Arctic). Because he has become increasingly aware of the limitations of law in reaching nature conservation objectives, he prefers to relate his work to research in other disciplines, including ecology, sociology and philosophy. His current research interests include the domestic implementation of EU nature protection legislation (e.g., the Natura 2000-regime), relationships between law and philosophical human-nature attitudes, property rights and nature, rights of nature, protected areas in the Polar Regions, tourism regulation in the Polar Regions, nature protection and the position of indigenous people, and the role of law in protecting wilderness.

He has edited the book Wilderness Protection in Europe: the Role of International, European and National Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016), is co-editor with Prof. Timo Koivurova of Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment: Theory and Practice (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, 2008) and is author of The Antarctic Environmental Protocol and its Domestic Legal Implementation, (dissertation, Kluwer Law International, 2003). He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

Kees Bastmeijer has been appointed as arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Yearbook of Polar Law (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff), the special book series Polar Law (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff) and of the Polar Journal (Taylor & Francis/Routledge). He is Member of the Scientific Committee of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. Kees Bastmeijer has been participating in the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings since 1992.). From 1 January 2014 to 1 September 2017, in parallel to his professorship, he has been the Program Director of Tilburg University’s Outreaching Honors Program. Since March 2017 he has been the Program Director for Sustainability of Tilburg University.

Based on his academic work, Kees Bastmeijer aims to inform and advise policy makers and the general public through membership of advisory committees, participation in round table sessions of the Parliament, legal consultant work for governments and NGOs, presentations and popular publications, as well as through contributions in the general media. Kees has been a board member of Birdlife Netherlands for 7,5 years and of IUCN Netherlands Committee for 8 years.



  • Nov-Dec 2019: Visiting Professor at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
  • 2016-2019: Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2009– present: Full Professor of Nature Conservation and Water Law, Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University (0,8 fte)
  • 2004 – 2009: Associate Professor of Environmental Law, Tilburg Law School
  • 1999 – 2004: Senior Researcher Environmental Law, Tilburg Law School
  • 1996 – 1999: Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Directorate-General for the Environment, International and European Environmental Affairs Division, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, The Netherlands
  • 1989 – 1996: Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Directorate-General for the Environment, Legal Policy Affairs Division, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, The Netherlands

Current courses

Click here for my courses.

Education/Academic qualification

Law, PhD, Tilburg University

Award Date: 6 Dec 2002

Law, Master’s Degree, Catholic University Nijmegen

Award Date: 30 Nov 1989

External positions

Providing advice on nature protection (Legal Advice for Nature)

1 May 2016 → …

(Stichting Brabants Landschap)

1 Jun 2009 → …

(Studiecentrum Rechtspleging (SSR) Docent)

1 Jan 2006 → …


  • Nature Protection Law
  • Nature conservation
  • Natura 2000
  • Ecological restoration
  • wilderness
  • rewilding
  • Antarctica
  • Arctic
  • Polar Regions
  • polar tourism
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • marine protection
  • Wadden Sea
  • protected areas
  • property
  • nature rights
  • Inuit culture
  • EU Habitats Directive
  • EU Birds Directive
  • ecosystem-based approach
  • sustainability
  • SDGs
  • biodiversity
  • human-nature-relationship


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