Marine Environmental Protection

Leader: Associate Professor Elise Johansen, UiT

This work package addresses issues on integration and precaution in the Arctic. Analyses of the legal obligations are not sufficient, and an important part of the research will focus on the implementation and enforcement of international law at the national level, highlighting the importance of both aspects.  The overall goal of the work package is to analyse the legal regime for marine environmental protection with a particular emphasis on the marine environment and ecosystems in the Arctic.

The research area consists of five tasks:

Task 1: Different types of norms in international marine environmental law

The growing awareness of the need to develop norms to protect the marine environment together with the need to balance environmental, social and economic considerations, have resulted in the adaption of broad and vague principles, obligations and soft law instruments. In this task the goal is to examine different types of norms in international marine environmental law, and analyse their normative structure, content and effectiveness as legal governance tools.

Task 2: The challenges of integrated coastal and ocean management

The task concerns the legal regime for integrated coastal and ocean management and the implementation of this new approach in the marine Arctic. A central question is whether the law provides for ecosystem based management and, more specifically, how integration may be achieved across the jurisdictional and sectorial limits provided by the Law of the Sea.

Task 3: The added value of the obligation on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment

The task will address the question on what those obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity to ensure conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity will add to the obligations of the states to protect and preserve the marine environment and conserve living resources under the law of the sea.

Task 4:  Arctic marine pollution

The task involves the assessment of the different legal regime(s) for marine pollution of the Arctic from, for example, land-based activities, accidental pollution from vessels and pollution from sea bed activities.

Task 5: The marine environment and climate change: Prevention and mitigation

The task includes analyses of states' obligation under the law of the sea, other MEAs and the IMO in respect of geo-engineering (Co2 sequestration) and measures to promote environmental "resilience" (e.g. through the use of marine protected areas).

Participating researchers:

Associate Professor Ingvild U. Jakobsen

Associate Professor Elise Johansen

Research Professor Christian Prip

Research Fellow Lena Schøning

Research Fellow Linda Finska