Irene Duque

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Freshwater Policy Officer

My name is Irene Duque and I am Freshwater Policy Officer at Wetlands International Europe.

I am a Spanish lawyer with 3 LLMs, specialized in European environmental law, and with a huge passion for habitats and species conservation. I started off my career as strategic litigator, focusing on the conservation of large carnivores and the habitats they call home. I’ve worked & volunteered at various environmental law organizations using my expertise in EU law to further the protection and restoration of our environment.

I realized that as a lawyer, most of the work I did was on damage that had occurred many years in the past. I decided to come to Brussels where environmental laws are made, to try to create better rules that avoid the damage in the first place.

Free flowing rivers are crucial for maintaining healthy ecosystems as they support life both above and below the surface. They also serve as natural corridors for nutrient transport, sediment movement, and help regulate water quality, benefiting communities of all living beings. Humans have long recognized the importance of these natural highways and have created our settlements alongside them. In the past hundred years, our relationship has not been a kind one, as we have polluted, depleted and fragmented these important environmental communities.

During my tenure here at Wetlands International Europe, I hope to help these wonderful habitat networks survive our generation, and hopefully grant them the peace they need to begin restoring themselves.