The Collateral Damage from China's 'Great Wall of Sand' – The Environmental Dimensions of the South China Sea Case
Australian Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 34, pp. 41-52, 2017
13 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2017 Last revised: 11 Sep 2017
Date Written: January 16, 2017
This contribution to the Australian Year Book of International Law’s agora on the South China Sea case assesses its treatment of fisheries and environmental issues. These matters might seem only second or third order concerns given the sovereignty and security issues also at stake. However, the South China Sea is one of the world’s most ecologically diverse marine bioregions and sustains an array of coral reef systems and highly productive and valuable fisheries. Contrary to popular perceptions access to these fisheries is more central to the disputes between the littoral states of the region than control over oil and gas resources. The arbitral Tribunal’s merits award clearly recognises this and addresses environmental protection and living resource questions in great length and detail.
Keywords: South China Sea, international law, law of the sea, international environmental law
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation