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Lorenzo Squintani

Alex G. Oude Elferink


To address the question how a future instrument for areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) might give consideration to the rights and obligations of coastal States and other States in establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in ABNJ, the current article discusses the options that have been tabled in this respect in the preparatory meetings for the intergovernmental conference that will be negotiating that instrument. In considering the current legal framework, the focus is on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), as the new instrument is to be elaborated under the LOSC and is required to be fully consistent with it. The article analyses the relevant practice of four specific regions that have established MPAs in ABNJ. The article concludes that due regard is fundamental in addressing interactions between coastal States and other States and considers some options to provide it with specific content.

Thomas Vanagt, Arianna Broggiato, Laura E. Lallier, Marcel Jaspars, Geoff Burton and Dominic Muyldermans


A fair and effective regime regulating benefit-sharing of marine genetic resources (MGR) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) must consider the inclusion of developing states, support scientific research and safeguard investments of the private sector. The present innovative proposal ensures a delicate balance through an approach based on open access, albeit with limitations. Access to MGR in ABNJ is facilitated, but conditional on the public release of collected samples and raw data. Adoption of the open access principle guarantees a powerful form of non-monetary benefit-sharing. The balance is maintained by the option for an extended embargo period, allowing samples and data to be kept confidential for a certain period, against payment to a biodiversity contribution fund. Monetary benefit-sharing, as a sector-negotiated percentage on revenue, could be imposed at the point of product commercialisation, and would offer a tangible payment system with a low transaction cost.

Ben Boer, Benoit Mayer and Tianbao Qin

Brian J Preston


Litigation raising climate change issues has increased in the number and types of cases across a growing number of national and international jurisdictions. An emergent trend is litigation that invokes particular legal rights to address climate change issues. Referred to collectively in this article as ‘environmental rights,’ these include rights established under the public trust doctrine, as well as within the realms of constitutional and human rights, including the right to life and right to a quality environment. This article surveys the development of climate change litigation—in various jurisdictions around the world—in which parties have sought to invoke these environmental rights. In addition to examining how climate change litigation has adapted rights-based claims made in earlier, more traditional litigation, this article reviews recent significant cases and examines how this growing body of case law is contributing to an expansion in the content of fundamental rights in the climate change context.

Natalie L. Dobson

Amidst the lively discussion on legal fragmentation and climate change, this article seeks to highlight the windows for the potential interaction of jurisdictional and environmental norms. This is relevant for climate-protective trade measures, which, it is argued, are not exhaustively regulated by WTO law. Exploring the contours of ‘climate change jurisdiction’ in customary international law, the article considers how the traditional jurisdictional principles may be operationalized in the untested territory of cumulative and uncertain environmental harm. With their origins in criminal and economic law, the jurisdictional principles were not originally designed for these challenges. This paper argues that the environmental norm of precaution, which originated out of a need to respond to complex threats, should have a role to play. Precaution governs issues of state regulatory competence in the face of scientific uncertainty. Particularly in relation to questions of foreseeability and causation, this norm may be helpful in navigating the application of the abstract jurisdictional principles, providing opportunities for synergy in the crystallization of the climate change jurisdiction.


Edited by Carole Ammann and Till Förster

This 10th thematic issue of International Development Policy presents a collection of articles exploring some of the complex development challenges associated with Africa’s recent but extremely rapid pace of urbanisation that challenges still predominant but misleading images of Africa as a rural continent. Analysing urban settings through the diverse experiences and perspectives of inhabitants and stakeholders in cities across the continent, the authors consider the evolution of international development policy responses amidst the unique historical, social, economic and political contexts of Africa’s urban development.


Aba O. Crentsil and George Owusu


Metropolitan local governments in Ghana, most especially the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), have adopted and implemented a policy of decongestion of the large metropolitan cities of Ghana in the past decades. This policy has been implemented with the explicit aim of reducing informal activities and their operators in the central business districts (CBDs) and other key areas of the cities. While the implementation of the policy in Accra, Ghana’s largest metropolis, has been ad hoc in character, owing to a combination of factors such as limited public support and political liability most especially in election years, the policy in both theoretical and practical terms can be described as representing another form of the much criticised classical ‘bulldozing or slum clearance’ approach. Bearing in mind the backlash against the bulldozing or slum clearance approach as an unsustainable means for promoting urban development, city authorities have coined the term ‘decongestion’ as a simplistic approach to clearing areas of the city of Accra they perceive to be undesirable. This chapter reveals wide-ranging negative impacts of these bulldozing approaches on street traders, slum dwellers and other informal operators as well as the political liability of the policy. It also finds that the concept and practice of ‘Right to the City’ has, to a large extent, been ‘back-burnered’ as urban informal operators are regarded as not possessing any rights in public spaces, with serious implications for achieving inclusive and sustainable urban development as highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.


Garth Myers


This paper works to address what I consider the enduring ‘Africa problem’ in global urban theory. I engage and critique selected relevant urban thought from the Globalization and World Cities research group, from Henri Lefebvre and from the new wave of urban theorisation inspired by Lefebvre’s (1970) idea of ‘complete, planetary urbanisation’. I argue that urbanisation in Africa, largely absent from Lefebvre’s works, presents new twists that are better understood from outside a Eurocentric framework. I propose the possibilities of urban comparativism built from theories and conceptualisations that emerge from the global South and that can be utilised to compare non-Western cities’ urbanisation processes. I use case studies from Dakar and Zanzibar to examine the production of what Chinese urbanists detail as a ‘village’ in the city, on the edge of the city, and in the suburbs over the last half-century and the complexities and comparability of urbanisation processes in these settings. I end with reflections on the implications of these cases for any claims for universalising the twenty-first century’s processes of urbanisation and urbanism across the planet. My main finding for urban policy and planning practice is the documentation of the relevance and value of South–South comparisons of urbanisation processes for development.