Artificial Islands and Structures as a Means of Safeguarding State Sovereignty Against Sea Level Rise. A Law of the Sea Perspective

6th ABLOS Conference “Contentious Issues in UNCLOS - Surely Not?”, International Hydrographic Bureau, Monaco, 25-27 October 2010

17 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2014 Last revised: 28 May 2014

See all articles by Grigoris Tsaltas

Grigoris Tsaltas

Panteion University of Athens - Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences

Tilemachos Bourtzis

Panteion University of Athens - Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences

Gerasimos (Makis) Rodotheatos

Panteion University of Athens - Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences; University of Athens, Faculty of Law; Hellenic Fire Academy

Date Written: October 26, 2010

Abstract

According to reliable scientific data, Sea Level Rise due to Climate Change, is a fact. Amongst various social, economic and legal implications, the issue of State Sovereignty is one of the least taken into account. Certain methods, including the use of Artificial Islands and Structures (A.I.S.), for tackling the problem of gradual sinking of lands, especially in Small Island and Low Lying states, are proposed or already deployed (e.g. the “sovereignty marker”, Yamamoto and Esteban, 2010). The use and status of A.I.S. has been dealt with only scarcely by the UNCLOS. On the other hand, environmental and safety issues have been much more thoroughly elaborated on national and regional level, but only for exploration and exploitation platforms.

The use of A.I.S., as a means of conserving Territorial Soveignty over vanishing areas, is an upcoming aspect, which is yet to be taken under consideration by both scientific community and policy makers. Artificial Islands as human habitats, Land Reclamation Projects, Sovereignty Markers for submersing islands, are some of the most noteworthy ideas. The lack of an integrated and coherent framework on their legal status acts as a setback for their adoption as an effective means against the problems that Sea Level Rise poses on Territorial Sovereignty.

The scope of this presentation is to highlight the possible uses of A.I.S. vs. Sea Level Rise, to underline the lack of international legal framework concerning their deployment and use and to present several legal options and actions that should be undertaken in order to promote the use of A.I.S.

Keywords: Law of the Sea, State Soverignty, Vanishing State, Artificial Islands, Sea Level Rise, Land Reclamation

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Tsaltas, Grigoris and Bourtzis, Tilemachos and Rodotheatos, Gerasimos, Artificial Islands and Structures as a Means of Safeguarding State Sovereignty Against Sea Level Rise. A Law of the Sea Perspective (October 26, 2010). 6th ABLOS Conference “Contentious Issues in UNCLOS - Surely Not?”, International Hydrographic Bureau, Monaco, 25-27 October 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2409890

Grigoris Tsaltas

Panteion University of Athens - Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences ( email )

136 Sygrou
Athens
Greece

Tilemachos Bourtzis

Panteion University of Athens - Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences ( email )

136 Sygrou
Athens
Greece

Gerasimos Rodotheatos (Contact Author)

Panteion University of Athens - Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences ( email )

Athens
Greece

University of Athens, Faculty of Law ( email )

Athens
Greece

Hellenic Fire Academy ( email )

Athens
Greece

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