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Vidya Vijayaraghavan

Legal Research Fellow

Vidya Vijayaraghavan is an environmental lawyer from India. She received her LLM in Environmental and Energy Law from NYU Law School and B.A.L.L.B (Hons) from Gujarat National Law University, India with a distinction. Before joining NYU, she advised the UNDP, India on an international biodiversity project involving 24 countries for a year. Previously, she served as a legal consultant for the National Biodiversity Authority under the Indian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, for 5 years. She provided legal and policy advice on national and international biodiversity issues and served in expert committees on complex biodiversity topics. She has handled more than 20 cases involving biopiracy claims, traditional knowledge and biodiversity rights for the Ministry and the Authority.

Notably, she supported the drafting of access and benefit sharing (ABS) guidelines, a pioneer environmental legislation in India, and has reviewed ABS legislations for 22 states in India. She has contributed to drafting similar ABS bills in Namibia and Vietnam, for which she earned special appreciation from their environment ministries. She also served as an expert reviewer for International Law Development Organization for designing capacity building materials related to Nagoya Protocol for global biodiversity lawyers.

While at NYU, she was a student lawyer for the Climate Change Litigation team of the Global Justice Clinic and a member of the sustainability committee. She was also a research assistant for Katrina Wyman, Director, Environmental and Energy Law LLM Program and worked on assignments related to global air pollution and climate change issues. Her research interests include climate change, international ocean and marine life protection, clean energy, sustainability, SDGs, indigenous and traditional knowledge rights, and environmental justice.