2 The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment
From: Saving the Oceans Through Law: The International Legal Framework for the Protection of the Marine Environment
- Pollution — Maritime boundaries — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
Chapter 2 examines the way in which marine environmental protection is addressed in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS sets out the jurisdictional framework for the law of the sea and prescribes general principles and rules relating to pollution of the marine environment and the sustainable use of marine living resources. The chapter considers the drafting history of UNCLOS. It explores the range of substantive and procedural rules on the protection of the marine environment, as well as how those provisions have been interpreted in recent judicial or arbitral proceedings. The chapter argues that UNCLOS provides a basic layer of protection for the marine environment but it also foresees the subsequent development of environmental rules and standards that are more detailed. Thus, UNCLOS should be understood as an umbrella convention that must read in light of other treaties and related instruments.