Sabaa Ahmad KHAN, Doctorate in Law (Canada)

Sabaa Ahmad Khan

Sabaa holds a Doctorate in Law with specialization in International Environmental Law. She is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law based at the University of Eastern Finland.

Current position: Researcher at the Centre for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Research focus: International environmental and trade law, Arctic governance, short-lived carbon pollutants, climate change law

Sabaa´s research focuses on the interaction between environmental, trade and labour law systems in the context of transboundary movements of ICT commodities and wastes, global recycling chains and Arctic climate change.

For her achievements, Sabaa was awarded a Green Talent in 2012. The jury was impressed by her research on the nexus of regulatory frameworks and technical considerations on the e-waste issue. After the award she worked in global administrative law, providing legal analysis on whistleblower protection policies within various international institutions. Sabaa is also a member of the Barreau du Québec and has been an International Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany.

2011 O'Brien Doctoral Fellowship for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism


CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2012):

McGill University

Research focus: Public-private partnerships in asset recovery and e-waste management. Social and environmental responsibility in pyrometallurgy and metals supply to the IT sector.

Electronic waste, or "e-waste", has become the fastest growing waste stream in the 21st century – and perhaps the scariest. These end-of-life devices, built and marketed for obsolescence, generate uncontrolled quantities of toxic waste.

If not in landfills, much of the world's e-waste – up to 50 million tonnes of it – ends up in Asia and Africa, which have come to be known as "dumping grounds" for the developed world's obsolete electronics. Environmental lawyer and Green Talents winner Sabaa Ahmad Khan, currently completing her LL.D. on regional and national policies of e-waste management and asset recovery, is taking a close look at emerging e-waste industries in India and Ghana, and their international linkages. “Unfortunately many electronic commodities that are sent to West Africa labelled as second-hand equipment are actually waste, or very close to becoming waste,” says Khan. “While providing access to technology is essential to human development, so is enabling societies to safely manage technologies once they become obsolete. It is a global environmental responsibility.” The environmentally sound recycling of e-waste is a critical component to reducing the overexploitation of natural resources, yet it continues to be a significant challenge in developing countries.

Through her interdisciplinary investigations into the global e-waste dilemma, Khan hopes to make an impact in the area of extended producer responsibility policymaking and lifecycle management.

The jury, impressed by Khan's exhaustive research on the nexus of regulatory frameworks and technical considerations on the e-waste issue, noted the growing importance of governance-focused research like Khan's in sustainable resource management practices.