Ocean Law Specialist Group contributed to U.K. House of Lords inquiry
The IUCN-WCEL’s Ocean Law Specialist Group submitted written evidence in response to a recent inquiry convened by the U.K. House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee entitled “UNCLOS: The law of the sea in the 21st century”.
The IUCN-WCEL’s Ocean Law Specialist Group submitted written evidence in response to a recent inquiry convened by the U.K. House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee entitled “UNCLOS: The law of the sea in the 21st century”. Following the inquiry that took place between October and December 2021, the House of Lords Committee released a report containing many important findings on 1 March 2022.
As noted in a U.K. Parliament press release, “the report acknowledges key success factors and achievements of UNCLOS, principally that its framework status allows it to operate as a ‘living treaty’ that can be adapted to reflect modern circumstances and develop international law; and that it represents a major example of diplomatic cooperation between member states.” The report concludes however, that if the provisions of UNCLOS are not supplemented, or further developed it would “no longer be fit for purpose in the 21st century”. In this respect, the Commission recommended that “the [U.K.] Government must continue to advocate for the protection of the marine environment and promote a more careful approach to the extraction of living and non-living resources.”
The Ocean Law Specialist Group’s submission was cited with approval in numerous sections of the report, including on seabed mining, marine biodiversity, rising sea levels and other impacts of climate change on the marine environment. The Deputy Chair and Chair of the Ocean Law Specialist Group, Pradeep Singh and Cymie Payne, led the submission with valuable contributions from three other members: Kristina Gjerde, David Freestone and Nilufer Oral.
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