Climate change may be characterised as the greatest global long-term threat to the health of the planet. Until relatively recently, its impact on and potential implications for the oceans has generated little concern, at least in comparison with the atmosphere and biosphere. This is changing however, as the impacts of a warmer ocean on ecosystems and biodiversity, sea level rise and ocean acidification are better understood. Its subordinate status nevertheless is perpetuated by the climate change regime, which pays relatively little attention to both the impacts of climate change on the oceans and the capacity of the ocean to mitigate climate change through its function as a carbon dioxide sink. Moreover, the characterisation of the ocean as a sink to be exploited to mitigate climate change, demonstrates the complex legal and moral relationship between the oceans and atmosphere and between organisations with responsibility for the oceans and atmosphere. This Chapter will explore that complex legal and moral relationship, and will examine how linkages and connections between regimes with responsibility for the oceans and for the atmosphere can—indeed must—be developed in order to develop ecologically and legally coherent responses to climate change. This Chapter will conclude with a proposal, advocating the adoption of a ‘Declaration on Climate Change and the Oceans,’ designed to provide a framework for cooperation and a catalyst for action, integrating climate and oceans policy.
This chapter examines the rules relating to marine scientific research as they apply to marine geoengineering taking place in abnj. It will analyse the regime currently evolving under the 1996 London Protocol to the 1972 London (Dumping) Convention, which has been developed to manage ocean fertilization scientific research in the context of the regulation of marine scientific research under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (unclos). As the Southern Ocean has been the location for several ocean fertilization experiments to date, the relevant rules under the 1991 Environmental Protocol to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, particularly environmental impact assessments, will also be assessed. This chapter briefly assesses the relationship between these regimes and the future Agreement under unclos on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and concludes that this Agreement—whatever the outcome of the negotiations—will not operate as a panacea for managing activities in abnj. With respect to geoengineering msr, the potential ‘solution’ to managing its risks lies in supporting and implementing the existing regime.
This article explores marine spatial planning (msp) as it is being developed in New Zealand. It breaks down the global concept of msp into six core principles and evaluates the extent to which New Zealand implements these principles within its ocean governance regime. The article concludes with brief recommendations for developing msp in New Zealand in the future.
This article explores developments in connection with marine protected areas (MPAs) on the high seas, beginning with a brief survey of existing high seas MPAs, recent initiatives such as the designation of the South Orkney Islands MPA, the creation of a network of OSPAR MPAs and the work undertaken by the UN General Assembly on developing a framework for oceans governance in areas beyond national jurisdiction. It considers: the absence of a clear legal basis for the creation of MPAs on the high seas; the relationship between MPA designation and traditional high seas freedoms; and the complex jurisdictional arrangements that govern activities on and in the high seas.