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The Yearbook of Polar Law is based at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland and covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:
- human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs. self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge,
- local, national, regional and international governance issues,
- environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species,
- regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources,
- law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims,
- territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea,
- peace and security, dispute settlement,
- jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bio prospecting,
- trade law, potential shipping lines through the northwest and northeast passages, maritime law and transportation law, and
- the roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar Regions, such as the Arctic Council, the Antarctic Treaty System, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the Nordic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, as well as NGOs.

The papers in this volume are based on presentations at ninth symposium in Akureyri in October 2016.
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The Right to Development and Sustainable Development

The Perspective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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In The Right to Development and Sustainable Development authors offer a new path for the implementation and protection of the right to development from the new perspective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Instead of excessive emphasis on the economic perspective, this book focuses on how to realize the right to sustainable development by resolution of conflicts among economy, environment and society.
Integrating the value analysis into the empirical analysis method, this book expands the scope of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development and strengthens its practical function, extracts Chinese experiences, lessons from South Asia, Local knowledge in South Africa and practice model in Peru on the implementation of the right to development, and put forward the idea of building a version of human rights criterion in the South.
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Piotr Szwedo

Cross-border Water Trade: Legal and Interdisciplinary Perspectives is a critical assessment of one of the growing problems faced by the international community — the global water deficit. Cross-border water trade is a solution that generates ethical and economic but also legal challenges. Economic, humanitarian and environmental approaches each highlight different and sometimes conflicting aspects of the international commercialization of water. Finding an equilibrium for all the dimensions required an interdisciplinary path incorporating certain perspectives of natural law. The significance of such theoretical underpinnings is not merely academic but also quite practical, with concrete consequences for the legal status of water and its fitness for international trade.
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Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility

Another Road to China's Sustainable Development

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Mengxing Lu

Corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSR/CER) can be understood as practices which voluntarily extend beyond mere compliance with mandatory social and environmental standards. Corporate social and environmental responsibility: Another road to China’s sustainable development , by Mengxing LU, contributes to the current debate of CSR/CER by providing a legal and economic analysis of CSR/CER and its relationship with regulation. Although the development of CSR/CER is at an early juncture in China, it is nevertheless a prominent topic for Chinese policy makers and business leaders alike. By depicting the landscape of CSR/CER in China, Corporate social and environmental responsibility: Another road to China’s sustainable development successfully demonstrates the vast potential for CSR/CER’s contribution to China’s sustainable development.
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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.
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The Seal Hunt

Cultures, Economies and Legal Regimes

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Nikolas Sellheim

In The Seal Hunt: Cultures, Economies and Legal Regimes, Nikolas Sellheim offers a deep analysis of the seal hunt worldwide. He engages on a journey from the northern to the southern hemisphere and explores how the seal hunt has shaped cultures all over the world up to this day. By analysing the different national and international regimes dealing with the seal hunt, Sellheim shows how the perception of the seal and the seal hunt has changed over time and space. Focusing on the European Union and the World Trade Organization, the volume offers an account on how opposition towards the seal hunt has found its way onto the international spheres of governance and trade.
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Shared Watercourses and Water Security in South Asia

Challenges of Negotiating and Enforcing Treaties

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Salman M.A. Salman and Kishor Uprety

Shared water resources in South Asia face various challenges including scarcity, population growth, and climate change impacts on all the riparians. Consequently, national calls for water security have become louder. As a result, collaboration among the nations of South Asia for ensuring equitable sharing of such water resources has not been optimal. While most countries do not have reliable systems for data generation, those possessing some hydrological data consider them state secrets, restricting their exchange. Even when treaty obligations exist, data-sharing practices are ad hoc, and the range of information shared is limited. Thus, negotiating new transboundary water treaties amongst South Asia’s riparian countries has become a daunting task, and enforcing existing ones remains a real challenge.
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Jorge E. Viñuales

In The Organisation of the Anthropocene, J. E. Viñuales explores the legal dimensions of the currently advocated new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, in which humans are the defining force. He examines in this context two basic propositions. First, law as a technology of social organisation has been neglected in the otherwise highly technology-focused accounts by natural and social scientists of the drivers of the Anthropocene. Secondly, in those rare instances where law has been discussed, there is a tendency to assume that the role of law is to tackle the negative externalities of transactions (e.g. their environmental or social implications) rather than the core of the underlying transactions, i.e. the organisation of production and consumption processes. Such focus on externalities fails to unveil the role of law in prompting, sustaining and potentially managing the processes that have led to the Anthropocene.
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Jorge E. Viñuales

Abstract

This essay introduces the legal dimensions of the Anthropocene, i.e. the currently advocated new geological epoch in which humans are the defining force. It explores in this context two basic propositions. First, law as a technology of social organisation has been neglected in the otherwise highly technology-focused accounts by natural and social scientists of the drivers of the Anthropocene. Secondly, in those rare instances where law has been discussed, there is a tendency to assume that the role of law is to tackle the negative externalities of transactions (e.g. their environmental or social implications) rather than the core of the underlying transactions, i.e. the organization of production and consumption processes. Such focus on externalities fails to unveil the role of law in prompting, sustaining and potentially managing the processes that have led to the Anthropocene. After a brief introduction to the Anthropocene narrative and the possible role of law in it, it focuses on three main questions: the disconnection between natural and human history, the profound inequalities within the human variable driving the Anthropocene, and the technological transition required to reach a sustainable societal organisation.

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Sebastian Oberthür and Eliza Northrop

The article explores key aspects of the modalities and procedures of the Committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance under Article 15 of the Paris Agreement. It focuses on five main issues under discussion in the international negotiations: overarching guidance to the Committee; the Committee’s functions; the scope of its mandate; the way in which matters may be referred to the Committee and proceedings initiated; and the outputs and measures available to the Committee. While recognizing the particular context and unique features of the Paris Agreement, our analysis draws on the experience available from several existing committees under other meas. In identifying design options for ensuring the Committee’s effective operation, we emphasize the importance of a balance of three main elements: the inclusion of an administrative non-party referral option based on information generated through the transparency framework under Article 13 of the Agreement or collected by the Secretariat; a full-range portfolio of facilitative measures; and several elements of overarching operational guidance to provide boundaries to the Committee’s discretion.1