Migratory Species Conservation in Warming Polar Oceans, with Particular Reference to Seabirds
In: E.J. Molenaar, A.G. Oude Elferink and D.R. Rothwell (eds.), The Law of the Sea and the Polar Regions: Interactions between Global and Regional Regimes, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 2013, 163-191
Posted: 25 Jan 2015
Date Written: 2013
Climate change is anticipated to increasingly affect migratory birds in Arctic and Antarctic ocean areas, both through ecological changes and through changes in human activity patterns. Climate change thus adds on to the already substantial threats faced by some species in these regions, including pollution and fisheries impacts. Against this background, the present chapter focuses on the global and regional regimes which address the conservation of migratory birds in polar ocean areas. Within this wider regulatory context, the main emphasis of the chapter is on the world’s principal regime for migratory species conservation, consisting of the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and its ancillary instruments. The chapter seeks to determine the significance and limitations of the CMS regime in respect of migratory seabird conservation in the polar regions in the current era of climate change. As part of this examination, the chapter addresses several questions concerning the scope of the CMS regime – substance, species, areas and states covered – and its relationship to other relevant legal instruments applying to the Arctic and Antarctic.
Keywords: climate change, adaptation, seabirds, international law, polar regions
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