How effective is the protection offered by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in order to preserve the marine environment?.
The supreme domination of the oceans has always been a common concern. In order to establish a unanimous regime to organize the rights and responsibilities of each nation with respect to the oceans and their resources, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, commonly known as UNCLOS III, was opened for signature on December 10, 1982, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and came into force on November 16, 1994. (Hollis 2013, paras 1-2, 10). This international convention set the guidelines to a diversity of issues, such as limits, navigation, archipelagic status, transit regimes, exclusive economic zones, deep seabed mining and protection of the marine environment, among others (Wikipedia 2013, para 9). Although the Convention on the Law of the Sea is not exclusively an environmental treaty, this essay focuses on the effectiveness of the protection given by UNCLOS III to marine environment. This paper will firstly discuss the most relevant articles of UNCLOS III dedicated to the preservation of the marine environment, namely, pollution prevention, pollution by dumping at sea and land-based pollution. As a final point, this paper will argue about how the provisions contained in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea leads this international treaty into a useful tool to marine environment defence. .
Relevant Clauses of UNCLOS III Related to Marine Environment Protection.
The marine environment can be defined as "the oceans, seas, bays, estuaries, and other major water bodies, including their surface interface and interaction, with the atmosphere and with the land seaward of the mean high water mark." (The free dictionary 2014).