The Centre for the Law of the Sea at UiT lives on
September 1, 2019 marked the six-year anniversary of the 36 million NOK donation by the K.G. Jebsen Foundation that created the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea at UiT. That funding period has come to an end, but the centre will continue as The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea, at UiT.
“We have received quite a few questions from partners and others about whether we need to close down, now that the funding from the K. G. Jebsen Foundation will end. But we won’t! We will continue with same speed and magnitude as before,” says Professor Tore Henriksen, leader of the former K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, that has now changed its name to The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea.
Henriksen explains that the Faculty of Law – of which the Centre for the Law of the Sea is a part – and UiT The Arctic University of Norway, have provided funding for the Centre to continue its activities.
“We are very grateful for the start-up funding we received from the K.G Jebsen Foundation. And now that the goal has been accomplished; we will continue independently on funding from various sources. We will continue to advertise vacancies, host conferences, and work on the exciting and important research we have already started”, says Henriksen.
The law of the sea is still highly relevant
Henriksen does not think the demand for competency in the law of the sea will decline in the future.
Law of the sea will continue to be very relevant in the foreseeable future. Seventy-one percent of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans, and with climate change, new issues that need to be resolved arise continuously”, says the law professor.
A need to clarify the rights and protection of ecosystems
He further explains that major parts of the sea are outside national jurisdiction, and hence there is a need to find solutions and make agreements. What happens, for instance, when fish that previously lived within a state’s maritime borders find new areas to live due to increasing temperatures, and suddenly are in international waters – who has the right to fish then?
“There is also a strong need to protect areas and ecosystems in the sea, like the coral reefs – so that they can survive. Thus, we need regulations in place”, explains Henriksen.
Biggest centre for the law of the sea in the world
The Centre currently has 32 employees, with researchers of nine different nationalities. It is the largest research centre for the law of the sea in the world and receives international acknowledgment on a daily basis.
Researchers from all over the world contact us. More and more want to co-operate, to come for research stays and to apply for jobs with us, or to invite us to hold presentations at conferences, says Henriksen.
He himself could not have wished for any other workplace.
“The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea is an amazing place to work, with exciting research tasks in a positive and inspiring international work environment”, the leader of the Centre concludes happily.
UiTs principal, Dr. Anne Husebekk, is also pleased to keep the Law of the Sea Centre at the University.
“The Law of the Sea Centre is a major and important initiative, funded in collaboration with the KG Jebsen Foundation in Bergen. This external funding has given the Centre an opportunity to employ exciting researchers, to educate many PhD and Post Doc candidates, and extensive international collaboration. The Centre is known worldwide. With time,the Centre will hopefully also receive funding from new external actors”, says Anne Husebekk.
The KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea in numbers:
- Started up 1. September 2013
- Employees: 32, of nine different nationalities.
- Financed: 36 million NOK from the K.G. Jebsen Foundation, Budget in total today: 205 million NOK.
- PhD’s: 6 by now, 11 ongoing PhD projects.
- Publications by 31. 12. 2018: 261 articles/chapters, 5 monographies, 4 anthologies – 5 more to come.
- Conferances/workshops, mediation: 44 conferences/workshops, 2 international Summer schools for PhD’s, a lot of mediation: The JCLOS blog, several “The Secrets of the Sea” outreaches, side events at the United Nations, etc.
Source: The KG Jensen Centre for the Law of the Sea, UiT.