Dr. Semie Sama

Assistant Professor

Phone Number: 
+1 (807) 343-8010ext. 7802
Office Location: 
PACI Building
Office Hours: 
Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Academic Qualifications: 

Ph.D. (University of Ottawa); LL.M. (University of Ottawa); MSc. (Mid Sweden University); MSc. (Stockholm University); LL.B. (University of Buea).

Date joined Lakehead: 
August, 2020
Previous Teaching/Work: 

Semie Sama is a Law Professor at the Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, Canada, where she teaches and supervises students. Professor Sama holds a Doctorate in law from the University of Ottawa, Canada (2017), a Master’s in Global Sustainability and Environmental Law from the University of Ottawa, Canada (2012), a Master’s in Ecotechnology and Sustainable Development Mid Sweden University, Sweden (2010), a Master’s in Environmental Governance from Stockholm University, Sweden (2006), and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Buea, Cameroon (2002). Before joining Lakehead University in 2020, Professor Sama was appointed as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Law of McGill University (2019-2020), a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Canada (2018-2020) and a United Nations Global Environment Outlook 6-Fellow (2017-2021).

Professor Sama’s research lies at the intersection of international law, environment law, human rights law, trade and investment law, and sustainable development law. Her publications address various topics, including land-grabbing, climate change, tenue security, environmental human rights and sustainable forest management. Her most recent article focuses on strengthening the role of forests in climate change mitigation through the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan. Professor Sama is the author and co-editor of and contributor to many publications, including a UN Environment report—Global Environment Outlook - GEO-6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People (Chapter 19, p. 463 of the Report). Some of her research can be accessed on the SSRN network.

Professor Sama is actively engaged in developing Canadian and African law and policy and is an Editorial Assistant for Africa Knowledge Project. She frequently speaks at conferences and public events. Currently, she serves on the Sustainability Stewardship Council (Lakehead University), Indigenous Admissions Committee (Lakehead University), Natural Resources and Environmental Law Committee (Lakehead University), GreenPAC Canada, and the Community Greening Working Group (City of Thunder Bay, ON, Canada). Professor Sama has membership in the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL), the American Society of International Law, Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa, and the McGill Black Alumni Association (McGill University).

Before joining Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law, Professor Sama was an Assistant Lecturer at McGill University’s Faculty of Law (where she taught Environmental Law and Politics) and served as a guest lecturer for different professors at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Laurier University.


Research Interests: 

Professor Sama’s research projects and publications focus on climate change, human rights, deforestation, land-grabbing, environmental justice,  and Indigenous Peoples.

  1. Sama, S.M., "Human Rights and Tenure Security: An Evaluation of Statutory Law in Cameroon" in Damilola Olawuyi & Oyeniyi Abe, Business and Human Rights Law and Practice in Africa (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022)
  2. Sama, S.M., “Strengthening the Role of Forests in Climate Change Mitigation Through the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan” (2021) 1:3 Journal of Environmental Law and Policy pp.1-26
  3. Sama, S.M., “Can Trade Agreements Promote Sustainable Forest Management?” (CIGI, 2019).
  4. Sama, S.M. et al., “Outlooks in GEO-6” in Ekins, P and Gupta, J., Boileau, P. (eds) Global Environment Outlook GEO-6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019) (please see Chapter 19, p. 463).
  5. Sama, S.M., “A Benchmarking Framework to Boost Africa’s Emission Standards for the Transport Sector” in Nhemachena, A. and Mawere, M. Who owns the weather and climate? Empire, climate engineering and environmental discourses on climate change in Africa (Bamenda: Langaa Publishers, 2019).
  6. Sama, S.M. “Evaluating the Environmental Law and Energy policy dimensions of land-grabbing,” (2017).  11:8 International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 413-425.
  7. Sama, S. M. “Globalization and Land-Grabbing in Africa: The Implications of Large-Scale Agricultural Investments for Rural Populations in Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania,” (287-312) in Munyaradzi Mawere (ed), Development Perspectives from the South: Troubling the Metrics of (Under-)development in Africa (Bamenda: Langaa Publishers, 2016).
  8. Sama, S. M. “Foreign Land Deals and Environmental Justice: A Reflection on African Norms and Policies” in Amin George Forji and Imoro Razak Jaha (eds), Land Grabs in Africa: Economic Imperialism? Critical Contributions to a New Paradigm (Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2016).
  9. Sama, S. M. “Environmental Law in Cameroon” in IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, Essential Readings in Environmental Law: Topic (Ottawa: IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, 2014).
  10. Sama, S. M. and Oliver N. Fuo “Cameroon’s environmental framework law and the balancing of interests in socio-economic development” in Faure M and Du Plessis W (eds.), The Balancing of Interests in Environmental Law in Africa (Pretoria: Pretoria University Law Press, 2012).
  11. Sama, S. M., and Oliver N. Fuo “Implementation of Chapter 21 of the UN Agenda 21: A Case Study of Municipal Solid Waste Management in the Bamenda Urban Council Area of Cameroon” (2010) 17 SAJELP.


  • Ashukem, J.C.N and Sama, S.M. (eds), Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment in Africa: Legal, Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives (Routledge, 2022)


Professor Sama is also interested in Inspiring Future Professors abroad by creating opportunities to help them develop their ambitions, gain increased confidence, set achievable goals, and improve their research, writing, communication, presentation and publication skills.