Marine Biodiversity in Southeast Asia: An International Law Guide for Marine Researchers
22 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 18, 2013
This paper outlines some of the key international rules to be considered by researchers documenting, monitoring or protecting marine biological diversity. It discusses the weaknesses of the international legal framework but also provides guidance for marine researchers to assist in the implementation of protection mechanisms.
Biological diversity is the subject of one specialised international convention (widely ratified globally and regionally in Southeast Asia) devoted to the identification, monitoring and protection of biological diversity, the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This paper investigates and discusses the application and pitfalls of the Convention to the biodiversity of the seas of Southeast Asia and of the concept of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas in need of protection. Where marine biological diversity is concerned, the implementation of the CBD has to be conducted within the framework set by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS sets specific and distinct rights and obligations for coastal States, flag States and other States (i) in different geographic zones (territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, continental shelf, etc.); and, (ii) for different uses of the sea such as shipping and fishing. Notably, coastal States have to take into consideration the rights of other states when enacting laws and regulations to identify, monitor, research and protect marine biodiversity, which they may consider to be located within their jurisdiction.
Keywords: marine biodiversity, law of the sea, Southeast Asia, South China Sea, marine scientific research, UNCLOS, CBD, Ecologically and biologically significant areas, EBSA
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