Dean Antonio G.M. La Viña, JSD is a teacher, thinker, leader, lawyer, human rights and climate justice advocate, and social entrepreneur. He has been an educator for more than 40 years and is currently professor of law, philosophy, governance, and politics in a dozen universities and learning institutions in the Philippines. 

Dean Tony is currently Associate Director for climate policy and international relations of Manila Observatory (MO) which he served also as Executive Director for several years. He also heads the Klima Laboratory, the policy and technical outreach arm of MO. He is currently the Chairperson of the Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy Department of the Philippine Judicial Academy, founding President of the Movement Against Disinformation, and founding Chairperson of the Mindanao Climate Justice Resource Facility.

Dean Tony is a Mindanawon from Cagayan de Oro, belonging to the Chaves-Neri and Roa clans. He is married and has three sons.


Dean Tony graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, and took up law at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman College of Law. He placed third in the 1989 Philippine Bar Examination.

In 1991, Dean Tony attended Yale Law School for his Master of Laws (obtained in 1992) and Doctor of Juridical Science (obtained in 1995) degrees. At Yale, he focused on international environmental law and policy and wrote a dissertation on climate change.


Dean Tony has been a teacher for more than 40 years, first serving from 1981-83 as a philosophy teacher at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro where he was assigned as a Jesuit Volunteer. This was followed by philosophy teaching stints in Ateneo de Manila University, Mother of Life Center, and Holy Apostles Seminary.

From 1990-2000, he was a full-time professor of the University of the Philippines College of Law. He has also lectured in universities abroad, including in special programs in Harvard University, Yale University, John Hopkins University, and University of Denver.

Today, Dean Tony teaches philosophy, environmental law and policy, and international negotiations at the Loyola Schools of Ateneo de Manila University. He teaches constitutional and other political law subjects, environmental and natural resources law, and public international law at the colleges of law of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, Ateneo de Zamboanga, De La Salle University, Lyceum University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, University of Makati, Rizal Memorial Colleges, Cor Jesu College of Law, and Liceo de Cagayan. He teaches graduate school level (JSD, LLM, MPM, MS, and PHD) courses at San Beda University Graduate School of Law, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Graduate School of Law,   San Sebastian College – Recoletos Graduate School of Law, the Ateneo School of Government ,  the Departments of Communication and Environmental Science of the Loyola Schools of Ateneo de Manila, and the Philippine Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Dean Tony was previously Executive Director of Manila Observatory, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, Senior Fellow and Biological Resources Program Director at the World Resources Institute, Undersecretary of the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and co-founder and research and policy development director of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.

In the last three decades, Dean Tony has served many times as lead negotiator for the Philippines in the implementation of Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate Change, including in negotiating the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the Paris Agreement. He served as a key facilitator for the Land Use Change (LULUCF) negotiations in Kyoto in 1997 and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation-Plus (REDD+) negotiations under the UNFCCC from 2009 to 2011. He was a lead negotiator and spokesperson of the Philippine delegation during the 2015 Paris climate negotiations.

Dean Tony’s other current and former leadership positions include:

• Chair, Board of Trustees, Forest Foundation Philippines, 2016-2020

• Member, Board of Trustees, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), 2020-2022

• Member, Board of Trustees, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)Member, Board of Trustees, Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE)

• Member, Board of Trustees, Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE)

• Member, Board of Directors, Rappler Inc.

• Member and founding Chair, Ashoka Philippines

• Member, Advisory Council, Natural Resources Governance Institute

• Member, Specialized Panel of Arbitrators Established Pursuant to the Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and/or the Environment, Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Netherlands, 2014-Present

• Chairman, Partnership Council, Partnership for the Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia, 2013-2019

• Member, Board of Trustees, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 2011-2018

• Member, Board of Trustees, Xavier University, 2007-2017, 1996-1999

• Chairman, Board of Trustees, Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA), 2010-2016

• Trustee, Biodiversity International, 2004-2010

Authorship and Publication

As an academician, lawyer, and environmental expert, La Viña has authored or edited numerous books, anthologies, monographs, and journal articles, mostly on environmental topics and issues. His experience in environmental issues has led him to author the chapter on environmental law and cases for the Benchbook for Philippine Trial Judges (Revised and Expanded); and Philippine Law and Ecology (Vol. 1: National Laws and Policies and Vol. 2: International Treaties and Rules on Procedure), the last two of which are compilations of laws, international instruments, legal cases, and commentary on the constellation of Philippine environmental policy and jurisprudence.

Selected Books and Monographs

The RH wars:  Framing the Population and Reproductive Health. With Clarissa David and Jenna Atun. Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University, 2014 (2015 social science book award of National Academy of Science and Technology);

Philippine Law and Ecology (Volume 1 – National Laws and Policies; Volume 2- International Law and Rules of Procedure), University of the Philippines College of Law, Manila: 2013;

Getting Specific on the 2015 Climate Change Agreement: Suggestions for the Legal Text with an Explanatory Memorandum, with Jennifer Morgan and Sebastian OberthürWorld Resources Institute, 2015;

Pathwaysout of Poverty: Innovating with the BoP in Southeast Asia, Co-editor, Ateneo School of Government, 2012;

Mining, the Philippines and the Future, with M. Roxas and C. Fontabuena, Ateneo School of Government, 2012;

An Explanatory Guide to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, with R. Mackenzie et. al., IUCN-FIELD-WRI, Geneva 2003;

Monitoring the State of the Judiciary and Legal Profession, with M. Mangahas, S. Rood, A.L. Casambre, and D. Arroyo, Social Weather Stations, Manila 1996;

English-Filipino Legal Dictionary, With Pacifico Agabin et. al. (Eds.), Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, Manila 1995;

Law and EcologyPhilippine and International Documents, Cacho Publishing House, Manila 1992;

Pilosopiya ng Tao (Readings in Philosophy of Man, Volumes I and II), with A. Tugadi et. al., Ateneo de Manila University, Manila 1988.

Book chapters and Working Papers

Conserving and Enhancing Sinks and Reservoirs of Greenhouse Gases, including Forests (Article 5), in The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: Analysis and Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2017;

Specific Concerns for Less Developed Nation States and Small Island Nations, with Earl J Rivera-Dolera, Dispute Resolution and Climate Change: The Paris Agreement and Beyond, International Chamber of Commerce 2017;

History and Future of REDD+  in the UNFCCC: Issues and Challengeswith Alaya de Leon and Reginald Rex Barrer, in Research Handbook on REDD+ and International Law (Edward Elgar Publishing: 2016);

Two Global Challenges, One Solution: International Cooperation to Combat Climate Change and Tropical Deforestation, with Alaya de Leon. Center for Global Development, 2014;

Philippine BenchBook for Judges,Chapter on Environmental Law and Cases, Philippines Supreme Court, 2011

Journal articles

Navigating a trilemma: Energy security, equity, and sustainability in the Philippines’ low-carbon transition, Energy Research and Social Science November 2017, with Joyce Melcar Tan, Teresa Ira Maris Ganzon, Mary Jean Caleda, and Lawrence Ang;

Climate Change and the Law: Issues and Challenges in the Philippines, with Therese Guiao. Ateneo Law Journal, 2014;

Framing in Legislation: The Case of Population Policy in the Philippines, with C. David and J. Atun, Population Research and Policy Review, 2012, vol. 31, issue 2, pages 297-31;

Legal responses to the impact of miningwith A. de Leon and G. Bueta, Philippine Law Journal(2012), Volume 86, No. 2, March 2012;

National and Global Energy Governance: Issues, Linkages and Challenges in the Philippines, with Naderev Sano and Joanne Dulce, Global Policy, Volume 2, London: 2011;

Reducing Uncertainty, Advancing Equity: Precaution, Trade and Sustainable Development, Ateneo Law Journal, 2009;

The Right to a Sound and Balanced Ecology: The Odyssey of a Constitutional Policy, Philippine Law Journal, Manila 1994;

Between Structures and People:  Some Thoughts on the Sociological Underpinnings of Ileto’s Pasyon and Revolution, Philippine Sociological Review, Vol. 31, Nos. 3-4, (1984).


Co-editor, Building an Inclusive Democracy, Asian Institute of Management, 2015 (2016 social science book award of National Academy of Science and Technology);

Chapter Review Editor, United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003-2004;

Editor, Philippine Natural Resources Law Journal, 1989-1991. 

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