[Coral-List] New Paper - MPA planning and international law

Magnus Johnson m.johnson at hull.ac.uk
Mon Nov 1 10:19:35 EDT 2010

There's another:

Santo, Jones & Miller (in press).  Fortress conservation at sea: A
commentary on the Chagos marine protected area. Marine Policy.

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Richard
Sent: 01 November 2010 09:17
To: Coral List
Subject: [Coral-List] New Paper - MPA planning and international law


A paper in press in the journal "Environmental Policy and Law" will be 
of particular interest to those involved in MPA planning and policy. Its

author, Peter H Sand, is a Lecturer in International Environmental Law 
at the University of Munich, and a former Chief of the Environmental Law

Unit UNEP, and Legal Adviser for Environmental Affairs, The World Bank.

Sand's paper concerns the Chagos. "The Chagos Archipelago: Footprint of 
Empire, or World Heritage." However,  it is of wider interest because 
the proposed Chagos MPA has raised issues of international law which 
will need to be resolved now and in the future. Specifically, Sand 
addresses these issues under two heads:
  (1) compatibility with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the

Sea (UNCLOS), and
  (2) applicability of other multilateral agreements.

He illustrates that this type of expansive MPA is incompatible with the 
provisions of UNCLOS unless subject to multilateral agreement as was the

case for the Great Barrier Marine Park, the Galapagos Marine reserve, 
the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and the US Northwestern Hawaiian 
Islands Marine National Monument (since renamed). In addition other 
multilateral agreements that need to be considered include the Indian 
Ocean Tuna Commission, the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission, 
the Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the Indian Ocean Commisssion, and the 
Western Indian Ocean Convention.

A twist to the protection to be afforded to corals and the environment 
is the lack of protection afforded to humans. A visitor to the Chagos 
should beware, because the British Government has specifically excluded 
this part of the world from the protection under the UN Charter, the UN 
Convention on Human Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions (treatment of 
prisoners of war and protection of civilians in wartime), the 
International Criminal Court, and the 1948 UN Convention against 
Torture. It is in effect the United Kingdom's equivalent of Guantanamo 
Bay Naval Base.

Sand's paper will appear in the October issue of the journal (Vol 40 no 
5). I can also pass on an author copy for anyone who cannot access the 

Richard P Dunne

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