Joseph F.C. DiMento and Alexis Jaclyn Hickman (editors)
The great seas contain immense resources and provide invaluable services to humankind, yet their environmental conditions are threatened worldwide. The authors of this comprehensive and interdisciplinary study provide a rich assessment of the seas and the efficacy of the international environmental regimes governing them, as well as suggestions for improving governance and protection.
The authors adopting a comprehensive and contextual approach to the environmental governance of the great seas provides an insightful analysis of six regional seas (The Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the East Asian Seas, the Mediterranean Sea, the West and Central African Seas, and the Wider Caribbean Region) selecting them on certain criteria: accessibility of relevant literature on conditions of the sea; the nature and extent of threats; the nature and extent of threats; variety in the sources and causes of those conditions, and variety of governance schemes; geographical diversity; proposed solutions, seeking to identify particularly effective examples; and strategic importance.
The authors address the specific roles of the Law of the Sea and the United Nations Regional Seas Programme and discuss the importance of better information exchange between scientists and policymakers, increased funding, greater participation, and new and more effective laws. National, regional and international initiatives are conceptualized as clusters, and their success evaluated using three indicators of effectiveness: effectiveness indicated by physical parameters; effectiveness indicated by contributions of and to international environmental law; and effectiveness indicated by improved relations among states and peoples. Perhaps, the most pragmatic theoretical lesson to be drawn is embedded in their “word on causation”: “Our conclusions about activity in a cluster and outcomes are qualitative and general. It is not possible in the complex environments we are analyzing to describe convincing causal links between individual law and policy initiatives and actual outcomes (whether they be cooperation or improvement of the physical condition of the seas). Many other forces are at work in response of both physical and social systems. And even if elaborate modeling could describe pathways in a convincing manner, data challenges would be enormous, if not overwhelming”
The book will be of great interest to policymakers, students and scholars in the fields of law and policy as well as marine and environmental sciences.
List of Acronyms
The Great Seas in Context
The United Nations Law of the Sea
Regional Initiatives and the Regional Aspect of a General
The United Nations Regional Seas Programme
Regional Seas Law
Role of UNEP
Effectiveness Criteria Introduced
A Word on Causation
Choosing the Case Studies
2. The Baltic Sea
Hermanni Backer with Joseph F.C. DiMento and Alexis Jaclyn Hickman
Conditions of the Sea
3. The Black Sea
Conditions of the Sea
4. The East Asian Seas
Conditions of the Seas
5. The Mediterranean Sea
Tullio Scovazzi with Joseph F.C. DiMento and Alexis Jaclyn Hickman
5A DiMento and Hickman
Conditions and Sources
The Governance of the Mediterranean Sea
The Regional Legal Instruments
The Barcelona System
Towards Governance of the Mediterranean
5C DiMento and Hickman
6. The West and Central African Seas
Conditions of the Seas
7. The Wider Caribbean Region
Conditions of the Sea and Region
8. An Accounting
Assessment – Effectiveness Indicated by Physical Parameters
Assessment – Effectiveness Indicated by the Development
and Implementation of Environmental Law and Policy
Assessment – Effectiveness Indicated by Improved
Relations among States and Peoples
Governance – More Law?
Appendix 1 List of Respondents
Appendix 2 Composite Regional Seas Study Survey Guide
Joseph F. C. DiMento, JD, PhD, is professor of law and planning at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Director of UC Irvine's Newkirk Center for Science and Society. He has written numerous books and articles on domestic and international environmental law including, The Global Environment and International Law (University of Texas Press] and with Pamela Doughman (eds.) Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children and Our Grandchildren (MIT Press).
Alexis Jaclyn Hickman received a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy and Design and Masters in Urban Planning at the University of California, Irvine. She also served as a researcher for the Environment Institute as a part of an interdisciplinary research group, the Sustainability Science Team. She is now a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Center for Transportation and Logistics.