Special Issue "Preserving Community Interests in Ocean Governance towards Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Keyuan Zou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Law, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China
Interests: international law; Chinese law; ocean law and policy; international relations
Prof. Dr. Yen-Chiang Chang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Law School, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China
Interests: international law; ocean law and policy; ocean governance; energy law

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is designed to discuss and examine relevant legal issues concerning ocean governance in the context of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the long-lasting benefits of the international community. It will cover, inter alia, the safety of navigation and maritime security, the sustainable use of marine resources (living and non-living), marine environmental protection, climate change, and marine scientific research.

Brief background

It is increasingly clear that the protection of the marine environment and the sustainable development of marine resources have been the most important components in global ocean governance and closely related to the vital interests of the whole international community. Although there are international normative documents and arrangements concerning ocean governance such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Rio Declaration, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the traditional mare liberum doctrine still remains firm in the promotion of national interests as individual states continue to grab marine space and resources in an unsustainable manner without seriously considering the collective interests of the international community as well as the interests of future generations. Such national selfishness has caused severe environmental risks and disasters in the ocean, particularly the maritime area beyond national jurisdiction, including the high seas, Antarctica, and the international seabed (the area), commonly known as “global commons”, but are of vital interest to the present generation as well as future generations. Thus, the rationale for preserving the community interests in ocean governance towards sustainability has become increasingly urgent.

The overall focus, scope and purpose of the Special Issue

This Special Issue is designed to focus on the community interests in ocean governance towards sustainability, and how to preserve these interests through the effective implementation of the international law of the sea and of the SDGs. The scope of the Special Issue will have several edge-cutting coverages: first, it will examine relevant legal issues concerning ocean governance in the context of SDGs for long-lasting benefits of the international community; second, it will identify new legal obligations to safeguard navigation and maritime security by considering the marine environment; third, it will evaluate effective legal frameworks for the sustainable use of marine resources (living and non-living); and fourth, it will discuss the regulations for marine scientific research and new developments of marine technologies for marine environmental protection. The purpose of the Special Issue is to highlight the concept of community interests in sustainable ocean governance, which will be fully reflected in a series of anticipated papers.

Relationship between the Special Issue and other literature on the topic

References to community interests appear from time to time in scholarly writings in the field of international relations and international law. The concept of community interests refers to interests protected by international law binding either all, or a group of, states and go beyond the delimitation of sovereign sphere of influence. There is existing literature, including books and journal articles, that considers the various manifestations of what has been described as “community interests” in many areas regulated by international law, including natural resources, global markets, human rights and use of force, and observe how law has evolved from a legal system based on more or less specific consent and aimed at promoting particular interests of states, to one that is more generally oriented towards collectively protecting common interests and values. However, the topic is never thoroughly researched and there is a huge gap in the existing literature, particularly in the context of ocean governance and sustainability. This Special Issue attempts to fill this gap, so as to attract more studies on this important topic in academia.

Prof. Dr. Keyuan Zou
Prof. Dr. Yen-Chiang Chang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • community interests
  • humankind
  • ocean governance
  • SDGs
  • sustainable development
  • maritime security
  • piracy
  • climate change
  • marine fishery
  • transfer of technology
  • deepsea mining
  • benefit-sharing
  • marine genetic resources
  • BBNJ
  • integrated coastal management
  • marine environmental protection
  • marine ecological damage

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Global Fisheries Management and Community Interest
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158586 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 199
Abstract
The conservation of fishery resources is a common interest of the international community. In the 1990s, the global fisheries management system was formed based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC). In order to achieve sustainable fisheries [...] Read more.
The conservation of fishery resources is a common interest of the international community. In the 1990s, the global fisheries management system was formed based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC). In order to achieve sustainable fisheries management, the international community also adopted a series of legally binding and non-binding policy instruments for the implementation of the global fisheries regime. The regional institutional framework was strengthened and expanded to offer broad coverage worldwide. Based on the analysis of the global fisheries management system, the article concludes that the current legal and policy instruments collectively provide a comprehensive framework for global fisheries management, but there still exist limits in addressing the challenges of fishery resources today. More effective implementation of the current legal system through better cooperation among States, as well as efficient coordination within and between national, regional and global institutions, is required. Full article
Article
Land and Sea Coordination: Revisiting Integrated Coastal Management in the Context of Community Interests
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158183 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 278
Abstract
At present, the ecological environment and resources of the global coastal zones are facing great pressures. Climate change leads to sea level rise, environmental change, stressful population increases and changes in demographics, all of which affect existing coastal management systems. Therefore, all coastal [...] Read more.
At present, the ecological environment and resources of the global coastal zones are facing great pressures. Climate change leads to sea level rise, environmental change, stressful population increases and changes in demographics, all of which affect existing coastal management systems. Therefore, all coastal countries begin to increasingly attach importance to the integrated management of coastal zones. How to better adapt to current changes in global coastal zones is a question that every coastal country should think about. From sea- and land-partitioned management to land and sea coordination and from simple coastal management to the integration of the ecological environment and society, integrated management has been planned from many perspectives and levels. It plays a role in promoting the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind. Full article
Article
On the Legal Status of Marine Genetic Resources in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147993 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
The question of how to define the legal status of marine genetic resources (hereinafter MGRs) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (hereinafter ABNJ) is one of the important issues in the negotiation of the International Legally Binding Instrument under United Nations Convention on the [...] Read more.
The question of how to define the legal status of marine genetic resources (hereinafter MGRs) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (hereinafter ABNJ) is one of the important issues in the negotiation of the International Legally Binding Instrument under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction. According to the theory of the order and justice value of the law, in combining the experiences of the international community in handling global ocean problems and characteristics of MGRs in ABNJ, it can be said that MGRs in ABNJ have the legal attribute of being the common heritage of mankind (hereinafter CHM). From the perspective of the principle of CHM, in applying the subject, object and content elements of legal relations as the research approach, the legal status of MGRs in ABNJ should be defined as follows: Firstly, an international management body should be established and the scope of actual resource developers should be defined in terms of subject elements. Secondly, the temporal scope, geographical scope and material scope of MGRs in ABNJ should be clarified in terms of object elements. Thirdly, the disposition of rights and obligations in the process of development and utilization of MGRs in ABNJ should be defined in terms of content elements. Full article
Article
Strengthening Universal Jurisdiction for Maritime Piracy Trials to Enhance a Sustainable Anti-Piracy Legal System for Community Interests
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137268 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Although universal jurisdiction over piracy has long existed in customary international law and international conventions, such as the Convention on the High Seas (HSC) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the piracy situation has been changing. The [...] Read more.
Although universal jurisdiction over piracy has long existed in customary international law and international conventions, such as the Convention on the High Seas (HSC) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the piracy situation has been changing. The subsidence of Somali piracy provides an opportunity for rethinking how to strengthen universal jurisdiction for maritime piracy trials to enhance a sustainable anti-piracy legal system. The incidents of Somali piracy have resulted in some new developments in exercising universal jurisdiction: the separation of seizing, prosecuting, and imprisoning States; the consideration of creative piracy prosecution mechanisms; the increased focus on land-based facilitation of piracy; enhanced international cooperation; and expanded universal jurisdiction. This leads to several main challenges in existing legal frameworks, including weaknesses in UNCLOS, the disharmony among international instruments, and defects in domestic piracy legislation. In order to sustain and improve the anti-piracy legal system, universal jurisdiction over piracy should be incrementally strengthened to support the prosecution of pirates by States. To address the trends and challenges, this article explores how the legal system can be enhanced in two respects: adjusting the basic provisions of universal jurisdiction over piracy and refining the relevant measures in exercising that jurisdiction to prosecute pirates. Full article
Article
Assessment of the Mechanism for Mining Technology Transfer in the Area: Loopholes in ISA Practice and Its Mining Code
by
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7005; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137005 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 286
Abstract
Draft commercial exploitation regulations have been on the agenda of the ISA since several 15-year exploration contracts expired a few years ago. Given the ineffective implementation in practice and the ignored chapter in several mining regulations on the transfer of mining technology, the [...] Read more.
Draft commercial exploitation regulations have been on the agenda of the ISA since several 15-year exploration contracts expired a few years ago. Given the ineffective implementation in practice and the ignored chapter in several mining regulations on the transfer of mining technology, the future Enterprise and developing countries may take a more positive approach to the transfer of mining technology by striking a delicate balance between the provisions on the protection of intellectual property and those on capacity building under the framework of UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement, through reciprocal and mutual beneficial means such as direct technology purchasing and investment cooperation. The International Seabed Authority, as the competent inter-governmental organization, has the duty to foster favorable conditions for such transfer. Full article
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