Mr. Sand is Senior Environmental Officer, Environment and Human Settlement Division, UN-Economic Commission for Europe.
The author refers to the origins of the 1976 Barcellona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution and to the role played by Jean Carroz, and describes the subsequent series of UNEP-sponsored regional instruments for the protection of the marine environment which have been drawn up or are in preparation. He points out that the Mediterranean Action Plan adopted at the Barcellona Conference served as a blueprint for further regional plans with five basic component: environmental assessment, environmental management, institutional arrangements, financial arrangements and regional legal instruments. He also draws attention to the successful use of legal techniques such as optional protocols or easily-amended technical annexes.
The author describes the institutional arrangements covering different marine areas and stresses the impact of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme on the development of contemporary international law through the introduction of a new kind of regionalism which departs from the traditional land-based or "continental" outlook. He considers that the approach to environmental question in marine areas of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme is compatible with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and, in particular, with the latter's emphasis on the need for regional agreements. He stresses the global outlook of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme and, recognizing that regional agreements may not be the ideal solution to certain problems such as that of marine pollution from the atmosphere, refers to some aspects of the marine environment to which global treaties apply.
The 1976 Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution1 is well-known as the first of a series of "regional seas" treaties developed under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). What is less well-known is the fact that the Barcelona Convention was based on guidelines formulated in 1974 by an intergovernmental consultation meeting in Rome under the auspices of the FAO General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean.2 These guidelines in turn go back to a draft prepared in October 1973 under the personal direction of Jean Carroz who was then Senior Legal Officer (International Fisheries).3
1 Text of Final Act, Convention and Protocols in International Legal Materials, 15 (1976): 290; see comments by De Yturriaga Barberàn J.A., 1976. Convenio de Barcelona de 1976 para la protección del Mar Mediterráneo contra la contaminación. Revista de Instituciones Europeas, 3: 63-96; De Hoyos, D. 1976. The United Nations Environment Programme: The Mediterranean Conferences. Harvard International Law Journal, 17: 639-649; Robinson, N.A. 1976. Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution. Earth Law Journal, 2: 289-295; Chabli L., 1977. Les aspects juridiques des problèmes actuels de pollution en Méditerranée. Univ. Montpellier. (LL.D, thesis); Fresia, A. 1977. Particularismes juridiques de la Méditerranée. Univ. Nice. (LL.D. thesis); Kiss A.C., 1977. La Convention pour la protection de la mer Méditerranée contre la pollution. Revue Juridique de l'Environnement, 2: 151-157; Sciolla-Lagrange, A. 1977. The Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. Ambio, 6: 328-332; Wassermann, U. 1977. Barcelona Convention against pollution of the Mediterranean. Journal of World Trade Law, 11: 379-383; Pantano, M. 1979. La Convenzione internazionale per la protezione del Mare Mediterraneo dall'inquinamento e protocolli annessi stipulati a Barcellona nel 1976. Rivista Marittima, No. 7: 135-148; Bouali, L. 1980. La protection de la Mer Méditerranée contre la pollution le système de Barcelone. Univ. Paris I. (LL.D. thesis); Cornelius, J.N. 1980. Droit international et pollution de la mer Méditerranée: théories et réalités. Revue Internationale d'Océanographie Médicale, 58: 97-107; Sisto, I. 1980. Convenzione di Barcellona del 1976 sulla protezione del Mediterraneo contro l'inquinamento. Rivista di Diritto Internazionale, 63: 355-373; Villani U., 1981. La protezione internazionale del Mare Mediterraneo contro l'inquinamento. Studi Marittimi, 4 No. 9: 93-103; Milenkovi, S. 1986. Mediterranean pollution conventions. In Bernhardt R., ed. Encyclopedia of Public International Law, (Amsterdam) 9: 264-266; and Leanza U., 1986. Il sistema regionale per la protezione del Mediterraneo contro l'inquinamento. Diritto Marittimo, 88: 796-827.
2 Protection of the arine environment against pollution in the Mediterranean. FAO Fisheries Report, No. 148, Annex I (1974); United Nations Juridical Yearbook, (1973): 52, (1974): 67, (1975): 68, (1976): 103-104; Sand P.H., 1976. Protection of the marine environment against pollution in the Mediterranean. Environmental Policy and Law, 1: 154-159. Reprinted in Nowak, J. ed. Environmental Law: International and Comparative Aspects, London, 1976: 105-113; Moore, G.K. Legal aspects of marine pollution control. In Johnston, R., ed., Marine Pollution, London, 1976, 589-697, at 649; Curti Gialdino, C. 1976. La protezione del Mediterraneo dall'inquinamento. Impresa, Ambiente e Pubblica Amministrazione, 3: 503-524, at 507; Saliba, L. 1976. International cooperation in the Mediterranean: Cleaning the wine-dark sea. Sierra Club Bulletin, 61 No. 6: 45-48; De Yturriaga, J.A. 1979-I. Regional conventions on the protection of the marine environment. Recueil des Cours de l'Académie de Droit International, 162: 319-449, at 339; and Boxer, B. 1982. Mediterranean pollution: Problem and response. Ocean Development and International Law, 10: 315-356. Reprinted as The Mediterranean Sea: Preparing and implementing a regional action plan. In Kay, D.A. & Jacobson, H.K., eds. Environmental Protection The International Dimension, Totowa, N.J. 1983: 267-309.
3 Principles suggested for inclusion in a draft convention for the protection of living resources and fisheries from pollution in the Mediterranean. FAO document FID:PPM/73/6 (1973). The draft was prepared in response to a resolution adopted by the 11th Session of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (Athens, 11 March 1972). Jean Carroz served as secretary to the two sessions of the Rome consultations held in February and May 1974, and played an active role in the negotiations - including some confrontations with the head of the French delegation, Ambassador Olivier Manet, whose opposition to a Mediterranean convention under FAO leadership was well known and instrumental in the subsequent diplomatic arrangement to assign secretariat functions to UNEP. In maintaining liaison with the International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission established under the 1973 Gdansk Convention (International Legal Materials, 12 (1972): 1292), Jean Carroz also maintained regular contact with Ambassador Paul Gustafsson of Finland, who was at that time involved in the drafting of the Baltic Sea Environment Convention (infra note 10), making sure that both drafts proceeded in parallel. See generally Carroz, J.E. 1978. Institutional aspects of resources management and protection in the Mediterranean. Ocean Management, 3: 235-251; and Carroz J.E., 1977. The management of living resources in the Baltic Sea and the Belts. Ocean Development and International Law, 4: 213-232.
To be sure, Jean Carroz's fascination with the law of the oceans can be traced to a time long before his service with FAO. At the very beginning of his professional career, as legal officer for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, he published a concise note on "International legislation on air navigation over the high seas",4 which is still considered and quoted by experts as the authoritative reference on the subject. The development of legal rules and institutions for the rational management of marine space and ocean resources then became a leitmotiv in his day-to-day work at the FAO Fisheries Department as well as in his published writings.5
4 Carroz, J. 1959. International legislation on air navigation over the high seas. Journal of Air Law and Commerce, 26: 158-172; Carroz, J. 1959. Die internationale Gesetzgebung für die Luftfahrt über hoher See. Zeitschrift fÖr Luftrecht und Weltraumrechtsfragen, 8: 3-24.
5 E.g. see Carroz's surveys of regional fisheries commissions in FAO Fisheries Technical Papers Nos. 57 (1965), 58 (1965), 60 (1966); Carroz, J.E. & Roche, A.G. 1968. The international policing of high sea fisheries. Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 6: 61-90; Carroz, J.E. & Savini, M. 1976. L'aménagement des ressources biologiques de la mer appelle-t-il une coopération à l'échelle régionale ou mondiale? Revue Iranienne des Relations Internationales, No. 5-6: 175-196; and Carroz J., 1986. La Conférence mondiale de la FAO sur l'aménagement et le développement des pêches. Espaces et Ressources Maritimes, No. 1: 11-27.
The Mediterranean Convention, built closely along the lines of the original "Carroz draft", was to become the flagship of an impressive armada of UNEP-sponsored conventions and protocols over the past ten years. Of the 30 or so environmental agreements currently in existence for 11 major marine and coastal regions of the world, 23 were adopted under UNEP auspices, and most followed the Barcelona model.6
6 It is perhaps worth recalling a historic Mediterranean precedent here: the Consolat del Mar, a 13th century compilation of statutory and customary rules on ocean shipping (drafted in Barcelona, in the Catalan language), which for 400 years served as an authoritative reference source of maritime law from the Baltic to the Black Sea; see Jades, S.S., ed. Consulate of the sea and related documents, University of Alabama Press, 1975.
It is true that the first regional instruments for marine environment protection had been developed elsewhere, at the initiative of the states bordering the northeast Atlantic. In the wake of the "Torrey Canyon" accident of 1967, growing concern over ship-based and land-based marine pollution in the North Sea and Baltic Sea regions led to several multilateral conventions between the coastal states concerned - from the 1969 Bonn Agreement for Cooperation in Dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil7 and the 1972 Oslo Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft,8 to the 1974 Paris Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Land-Based Sources9 and the 1974 Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area.10
7 Text in United Nations Treaty Series, 704/3, supplemented in 1983 by the Bonn Agreement for Cooperation in Dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances (not yet in force). A subregional Agreement concerning Measures to Deal with Pollution of the Sea by Oil was concluded in 1971 in Copenhagen between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden; text in United Nations Treaty Series, 822/324.
8 Text in International Legal Materials, 11(1972): 263; see De Yturriaga, J.A., 1974. Convenio de Oslo de 1972 para la prevención de la contaminación marina provocada por vertidos desde buques y aeronaves. Revista de Instituciones Europeas, 1: 121-130; Winter, G. 1980. The implementation of the Oslo Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft. Zeitschrift fÖr Unweltpolitik, 3: 707-735; and Hayward, P. 1984. Environmental protection: Regional approaches. Marine Policy, 8: 106-119.
9 Text in International Legal Materials, 13(1974): 352; see De Yturriaga, J.A. 1975. Convenio de Paris de 1974 sobre la prevención de la contaminación marina de origen terrestre. Revista de Instituciones Europeas, 2: 49-71; Busby, R.H. 1975. The Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Land-Based Sources. An effective method for arbitrating international effluent pollution disputes. California Western International Law Journal, 5: 350-375; and Kiss, A.C. 1976. Récents traités régionaux concernant la pollution de la mer. Annuaire Français de Droit International, 22: 720-742.
10 Text in International Legal Materials, 13(1974): 546; see de Yturriaga, J.A. 1975. Convención de Helsinki de 1974 sobre la protección del medio marino de la zona del Mar Báltico. Revista de Instituciones Europeas, 2: 389-404; Johnson, B. 1976. The Baltic Conventions. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 25: 1-14; Boczek, B.A. International protection of the Baltic Sea against pollution. American Journal of International Law, 72: 782-814; Goralczyk, W. 1980. La mer Baltique et les problèmes de coopération des Etats riverains. Revue Générale de Droit International Public, 84: 269-283; Hägerhäll, B. 1980. International cooperation to protect the Baltic. Ambio, 9: 183-186; Tulokas, M. 1981. The Baltic Sea and pollution. Scandinavian Studies in Law, 25: 205-221; and Boczek B.A., 1981. The Baltic Sea: A study in marine regionalism. Jahrbuch fÖr Internationales Recht, 23: 196-230; and Hakapää K., 1981. Marine pollution in international law. Helsinki. (LL.D. thesis).
As distinct from these early "Northern" agreements concluded among industrialized European states (with a significant East-West component in the case of the Baltic), the Barcelona instruments introduced a new Third World dimension in marine environment protection, which has since become a predominant feature of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme - highlighted by the recent move of its secretariat from Geneva to Nairobi. The following agreements have been finalized to date:
in the Mediterranean, simultaneously with the Barcelona Convention, a Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft, and a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (Barcelona, 16 February 1976, in force 12 February 1978); followed by a Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources (Athens, 17 May 1980, in force 17 June 1983);11 and a Protocol concerning Mediterranean Specially Protected Areas (Geneva, 3 April 1982, in force 23 March 1986);12
in the Persian Gulf, the Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution, together with a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (Kuwait, 23 April 1978, in force 30 June 1979);13
in the Gulf of Guinea, the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region, together with a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution in Cases of Emergency (Abidjan, 23 March 1981, in force 5 August 1984);14
in the Southeast Pacific, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the South-East Pacific (Lima, 12 November 1981, in force 19 May 1986),15 with an Agreement on Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the South-East Pacific by Hydrocarbons or Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (Lima, 12 November 1981, in force 14 July 1986) followed by a Supplementary Protocol to the Agreement (Quito, 22 July 1983, in force 20 May 1987), as well as a Protocol for the Protection of the South-East Pacific against Pollution from Land-Based Sources (Quito, 22 July 1983, in force 23 September 1986);16
in the Red Sea, the Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment, together with a Protocol concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency (Jeddah, 14 February 1982, in force 20 August 1985);17
in the Caribbean, the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, together with a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Oil Spills (Cartagena de Indias, 24 March 1983, in force 11 May 1987);18
in the Indian Ocean, the Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region, together with a Protocol concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora and a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Marine Pollution in Cases of Emergency (Nairobi, 21 June 1985, not yet in force);19 and
in the Southwest Pacific, the Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region, together with a Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies and a Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the South Pacific Region by Dumping (Noumea, 25 November 1986, not yet in force).20
11 Text in International Legal Materials, 19(1980): 869; see Dobbert, J.P. 1980. Protocol to control pollution in the Mediterranean. Environmental Policy and Law, 6: 110-114; Goering, K.W., 1980. Mediterranean protocol on land-based sources: Regional response to a pressing transnational problem. Cornell International Law Journal, 13: 269-283; Timagenis, G.J., 1980. Protocol for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution from land-based sources. Hellenic Review of International Relations, 1: 123-136; Falicon, M. 1980. La protection internationale de la Mer Méditerranée contre la pollution tellurique. Revue Internationale d'Océanographie Médicale, 59: 71-80; Bliss-Guest, P. 1981. The Protocol against pollution from land-based sources: A turning point in the rising tide of pollution. Stanford Journal of International Law, 17: 261-279; de Guttry, A. 1981. Tutela del Mare Mediterraneo in un recente accordo: il protocollo di Atene del 17 maggio 1980. Rivista di Diritto Internationale Privato e Processuale, 17: 465-488; Mateo R.M., 1982. La prevención de vertidos desde el litoral y la contaminación del Mar Mediterráneo. Civitas Revista Española de Derecho Administrativo, 32: 773-784; and Kuwabara, S. The legal regime of the protection of the Mediterranean against pollution from land-based sources, Univ. Cambridge (Dublin, 1984) (Ph.D. thesis). For background see particularly WHO/UNEP, Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution from land-based sources A survey of national legislation, (Geneva, 1976): 6-23, which contains the draft principles and explanatory comments for the Protocol (prepared on behalf of the World Health Organization by Hans J. Schlenzka, formerly with the FAO Legal Office).
12 Draft prepared by FAO, see United Nations Juridical Yearbook (1980) 86; text in Burhenne W.E., ed. International Environmental Law Multilateral Agreements, 5 (Berlin, 1982) 982:26. - Outside the framework of the Barcelona Convention, bilateral agreements were concluded between Italy-Yugoslavia (1974) and Italy-Greece (1979) for the protection of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, and a sub-regional agreement (1976, in force since 1981) between France, Italy and Monaco for the protection of the Riviera coast; see Surbiguet, M.F. & Seigneurin P., 1985. Liste des traités et accords de la France. Paris, p. 174. For background see Curti Gialdino, C. 1975. La cooperazione italo-jugoslava per la protezione ambientale dell'Adriatico. Rivista di Diritto Internazionale, 58: 590-596. Curti Gialdino, C. 1977. La cooperazione italo-franco-monegasca per la protezione dell'Alto Tirreno dall'inquinamento. Impresa, Ambiente e Pubblica Amministrazione, 4: 201-206; and Vukas, B. 1983. La cooperazione tra Italia e Jugoslavia per la protezione del Mare Adriatico dall'inquinamento. In Starace, V., ed. Diritto Internazionale e Protezione dell'Ambiente Marino. Milan, pp. 297-304.
13 Text in International Legal Materials, 17 (1978): 511; for background see Al-Awadhi, B.A. 1975. Legal Aspects of Maritime Pollution with Particular Reference to the Arabian (Persian) Gulf, Univ. College, London. (Ph.D. thesis); Saqat, S.S., 1978. The Kuwait Convention for cooperation on the protection from pollution of the marine environment of the Arabian Gulf area. Revue Egyptienne de Droit International, 34: 149-158; Momtaz, p. 1978. Une convention pour la protection du golfe Persique contre la pollution. Revue Iranienne des Relations Internationales, No. 11-12: 387-400; Sepherar, M. 1979. Droit international et protection de l'environnement dans les pays du golfe Persique. Univ. Lille. (LL.D. thesis); Alashaal, A. 1980. Protection of the environment of the Arab Gulf. Revue Egyptienne de Droit International, 36: 201-230 (in Arabic); Amin, S.H. The Gulf States and the control of marine pollution: Regional arrangements and national legislation. Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, (February 1982): 104-116; and Amin, S.H. Marine Pollution in International and Middle Eastern Law (Glasgow, 1986).
14 Text in International Legal Materials, 20(1981): 746; see Alhéritière, D., 1981. Convention sur le milieu marin de l'Afrique de l'Ouest et du centre. Environmental Policy and Law, 7: 61-63; and Fall, I. 1983. La coopération interafricaine en matière de pollution du milieu marin et des zones côtières à la lumière de la Convention d'Abidjan et de ses protocoles. Revue Juridique et Politique Indépendance et Coopération, 37: 275-286.
15 Text in International Digest of Health Legislation, 33(1982): 96.
16 Text in International Digest of Health Legislation, 36(1985): 170.
17 Texts in International Digest of Health Legislation, 33(1982): 575; see Mekouar, M.A. 1983. La convention de Jeddah du 14 février 1982 pour la protection de l'environnement de la Mer Rouge et du Golfe d'Aden: l'innovation dans la tradition. Revue Juridique de l'Environnement, 8: 81-100.
18 Text in International Legal Materials, 22(1983): 221; see Bundschuh, G. 1984. Transfrontier pollution: Convention for the protection and development of the marine environment of the wider Caribbean: Agreement involving collective response to marine pollution incidents and long range environmental planning. Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 14: 201-215.
19 Texts in Official Journal of the European Communities C253 (1986) pp. 10-32; see Okidi, C.O. 1985. Nairobi Convention: Conservation and development imperatives. Environmental Policy and Law, 15: 43-51; and Pathmarajah, M., & Meith N., 1985. A regional approach to marine environmental problems in East Africa and the Indian Ocean. Ocean Yearbook, 5: 162-191.
20 Texts in International Legal Materials, 26(1987): 38.
Further agreements are currently in preparation for the East Asian Seas.21
21 Following a legal experts meeting tentatively scheduled for August 1987, a conference of plenipotentiaries is envisaged to be held in 1988. Earlier UNEP plans for similar agreements in the East Asian and in the southwest Atlantic regions have since been shelved. Regional action plans following the UNEP model have also been proposed for a number of other marine areas, including the Arctic; see Nelson, J.G. & Needham, R.D. 1985. The Arctic as a regional sea. Environmental Conservation, 12: 7-15.
Typically - and unlike the Northern European anti-pollution agreements - these instruments are part of comprehensive action plans oriented toward overall regional development, including coastal zone planning, monitoring and research, and technical assistance and training. Here again, the Mediterranean Action Plan adopted by the first Barcelona Conference in February 197522 served as a blueprint for the other regional plans subsequently developed by UNEP. It has five basic components:
(a) environmental assessment (the MEDPOL monitoring network);
(b) environmental management (the "Blue Plan" for coordinated development of the coastal region; and the "Priority Actions Programme" for cooperation in coastal settlements, aquaculture, water resources, soils, renewable energy, and tourism);
(c) institutional arrangements (permanent secretariat services and periodic conferences);
(d) financial arrangements (trust fund shared by coastal states); and
(e) regional legal instruments, following a highly uniform pattern and at least partly formulated in near-identical language.
22Report (UNEP/WG.2/5) published in International Legal Materials, 14(1975): 481; see also Thacher, P.S. 1977. The Mediterranean action plan. Ambio, 6: 308-312; Vellou, J. 1977. Certain remarks on the pollution of the sea with reference to the Mediterranean Sea and the Barcelona Conferences. Thesaurus Acroasium, 7: 573-579; Bliss P.A., 1978. Review of the Mediterranean Action Plan. Ocean Management. 3: 315-335; Saliba L.J., 1978. Protecting the Mediterranean: Coordinating regional action. Marine Policy, 2: 171-180; Boxer B., 1978. Mediterranean Action Plan: An interim evaluation. Science, 202: 585-590; Juda L., 1979. The regional effort to control pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. Ocean Management, 4: 125-150; Helmer R., 1980. The Mediterranean Action Plan: A review of its research aspects. Progress in Water Technology, 12: 3-15; Waddington J.I., 1981. The Mediterranean Action Plan: Design and implementation. Water Pollution Control, 80: 149-162; Haas P., 1986. Dishonorable discharges International cooperation to control pollution in the Mediterranean. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. (Ph.D. thesis); and Ress P., 1986. Mediterranean Sea becoming cleaner. Environmental Conservation, 13: 267-268. For documentation in French, see Déjeant-Pons M., Protection et développement du bassin méditerranéen (Paris, 1987).
The idea of a "framework convention" with separate optional "protocols" goes back to a Spanish drafting proposal in 1974.23 While forerunners of this approach may be found in earlier treaties - especially in the global marine pollution conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - its success, demonstrated in the UNEP Regional Seas Programme, inspired similar arrangements in other UNEP-sponsored treaties such as the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.24 Another distinctive feature is the use of technical annexes, including agreed "black lists" and "grey lists" for substances identified as potentially harmful to health and the environment.25 The possibility of adopting and amending these annexes through an accelerated procedure not requiring diplomatic ratification introduced an important element of flexibility, considering the slowness of traditional methods of treaty amendment.26
23 The formula of a "convenio-marco" was first presented at the Third Diplomatic Conference of Mediterranean States on the Law of the Sea (Athens, 13 March 1974); Spanish text in de Yturriaga J.A. ed. La actual revisión del Derecho del Mar: una perspectiva española. Vol. II/2 (Madrid, 1974): 521-25.
24 Text in Environmental Policy and Law, 14(1985): 72; see Sand, P.H. 1985. Protecting the ozone layer: The Vienna Convention is adopted. Environment, 27 No. 5: 18-43; Széll, P. 1985. The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. International Digest of Health Legislation, 36: 839-842; Lang, J.T. 1986. The ozone layer convention: A new solution to the question of community participation in 'Mixed' International Agreements. Common Market Law Review, 23: 157-176; and Rummel-Bulska, I. 1986. Recent developments relating to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Yearbook of the Association of Attenders and Alumni of The Hague Academy of International Law, 54-56: 115-125.
25 Similar to the global lists annexed to the 1972 London Convention to the prevention of marine pollution by dumping of wastes and other matter (United Nations Treaty Series, 1046/120), and lists annexed to the Oslo, Paris and Helsinki conventions (supra notes 8-10). In the case of the Mediterranean, the main controversy over substances to be included in the annexes concerned titanium dioxide wastes, the notorious "red slicks"; see Kiss, A.C. 1975. Un cas de pollution internationale: l'affaire des boues rouges. Journal du Droit International, 102: 207-236. In the case of the South Pacific, the main problem in negotiation of the Noumea agreements of 1986 was radioactive substances; see Radioactivity in the South Pacific. UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 40 (1984); and Narokobi, C.S.N. 1984. The Law of the Sea and the South Pacific. Ambio, 13: 372-376.
26 See Contini, P. & Sand, P.H. 1972. Methods to expedite environment protection: International ecostandards. American Journal of International Law, 66: 37-59; and Sand, P.H. 1980. The creation of transnational rules for environmental protection. In Bothe, M., ed. Trends in Environmental Policy and Law. IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 15 (Gland), pp. 311-320.
In institutional terms, all of the agreements set up regular conferences of the contracting parties as supreme policy-making bodies, while in most cases assigning secretariat functions to already-established organizations - either in the form of a small, outposted UNEP unit (as in the case of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the West/Central African and the Eastern African regions) or by using the services of an existing intergovernmental body in the region (as in the case of the Red Sea, the Southeast Pacific and the Southwest Pacific). As regards finance, the early establishment of UN-administered trust funds to cover all organizational expenses from direct government contributions ensured a high degree of autonomy to the regional structures so created, and at the same time satisfied the declared UNEP policy of "catalytic" (seed-money) funding.27
27 In the case of the Mediterranean Action Plan, UNEP expenditures since 1974 were approximately US$9 million; the action plan has been financially self-sufficient since 1984, with Trust Fund contributions so far amounting to approximately US$23 million. In the case of the Kuwait Action Plan, UNEP expenditures of approximately US$1 million since 1976 were matched by Trust Fund contributions of approximately US$6 million; see UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies, No.19/Rev.1 (1985).
As has often been pointed out, it is rather difficult to generalize the concept of a "marine region".28 The eight areas currently covered by UNEP-sponsored agreements include at least three very different types of regions: semi-enclosed seas, stretches of coastal waters and archipelagos. It would indeed be futile to rationalize in retrospect the geographical selection and delimitation of these regions, which was to a very large extent dictated by pragmatic considerations of political feasibility. Even though regional action was mentioned passim in the recommendations of the 1972 UN Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment,29 the first UNEP "Task Force on Legal Instruments for Regional Seas"30 was not convened until November 1976 (i.e. after the Mediterranean Convention had already been finalized and other regional projects initiated); and it was not until 1978 that the UNEP Governing Council adopted a systematic regional seas strategy.31
28 Alexander, L.M. 1977. Regional arrangements in the oceans. American Journal of International Law, 71: 84-109; Quéneudec, J.P. 1977. Les tendances régionales dans le droit de la mer. In Société française pour le droit international, Régionalisme et Universalisme dans le droit international contemporain, (Paris) pp. 257-262; Okidi, C.O. 1977. Toward regional arrangements for regulation of marine pollution: An appraisal of options. Ocean Development and International Law, 4: 1-25; Okidi, C.O. 1978. Regional control of ocean pollution Legal and institutional problems and prospects, (Alphen); Gonçalves, M.E. 1979. Concepts of marine region and the new Law of the Sea. Marine Policy, 3: 255-263; Johnston, D.M. & Enomoto, L.M.G. 1981. Regional approaches to the protection and conservation of the marine environment. In Johnston, D.M. ed. The Environmental Law of the Sea. IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 18 (Gland), pp. 285-385. See also Vukas, B. 1978. Enclosed and semi-enclosed seas. Revue Iranienne des Relations Internationales, No. 11-12: 171-196; Schulte-Braucks A., 1979. La collaborazione regionale per la protezione dell'ambiente marino dall'inquinamento. Comunità Internazionale, 34: 615-637; Benchikh M., 1980. La Mer Méditerranée: mer semi-fermée. Revue Générale de Droit International Public, 84: 284-297; Boehmer-Christiansen S., 1984. Marine pollution control in Europe: Regional approaches 1972-1980. Marine Policy, 8: 44-45; Déjeant, M. 1985. Les zones côtières en droit international de l'envirement. Univ. Montpellier I. (LL. D. thesis); and Aussant, J. 1987. Conventions régionales contre la pollution marine: contenu et problèmes, participation de la Communauté. Revue du Marché Commun, No.303: 14-24.
29 Report in International Legal Materials, 11(1972): 1416. Significantly, though, there is no reference to regional marine programmes in the initial analysis by Thacher P.S., 1973. Assessment and control of marine pollution: The Stockholm Recommendations and their efficacy. Stanford Journal of International Studies, 8: 79-98.
30 See Sand P.H., 1976. Drafting of regional legal instruments for marine environment protection: the case of the Mediterranean. Doc. UNEP/TFLIRS/Inf.4 (Nairobi).
31 Decision 6/2 of 24 May 1978. See Falicon M., 1980. Aspects juridiques de la protection des mers régionales par les Nations Unies. Univ. Nice. (LL.D. thesis); id., 1981. La protection des mers régionales par les Nations Unies. Revue Internationale d'Océanographie Médicale, Nos. 63-64: 125-132.
Yet the conceptual impact of the Regional Seas Programme on the development of contemporary international environmental law and policy has been considerable. It introduced a new type of regionalism, not unlike the emergence of regional bodies in the law of international fisheries,32 but radically different from the traditional land-based or "continental" outlook of other international organizations dealing with environmental matters.33 The very fact that the Mediterranean Sea reaches across the geographical boundaries of three different UN regional commissions (for Europe, Africa and West Asia),34 as well as across the substantive jurisdiction of at least four UN specialized agencies, thus enabled UNEP to move in and occupy a unique "ecological niche" for new intergovernmental programmes. By skilfully delegating much of the programme execution, the Regional Seas Programme also succeeded in mobilizing active participation inter alia from FAO, IAEA, IMO and WHO, coordinated through special inter-agency review meetings (instead of the regular UNEP mechanism of "designated officials for environmental matters").35
32 For example see Koers A.W., 1973. International regulation of marine fisheries A study of regional fisheries organizations, London.
33 For example see Stein, R.E. 1972. The potential of regional organizations in managing man's environment. In Hargrove J.L., ed. Law, institutions and the global environment. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., pp. 253-293.
34 On the "regional mosaic" of the UN and its specialized agencies see Sharp, W.R., 1961. Field administration in the United Nations system The conduct of international economic and social programs. New York, pp. 44-80. Paradoxically perhaps, the same applies to UNEP's own regional offices for these three regions: the Mediterranean Action Plan (and its five legal instruments) is therefore administered by a separate Coordination Unit established by UNEP in Athens.
35 For an overview of inter-agency programmes and coordination, see "Achievements and planned development of UNEP's Regional Seas Programme and comparable programmes sponsored by other bodies", UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 1 (1982); see also Walton, A. 1981. The Work of the International Laboratory of Marine Radioactivity. International Atomic Energy Agency Bulletin, 23: 24-27; Saliba, L. 1983. Mediterranean pollution: Health-related aspects. Marine Policy, 7: 109-117; Alhéritière, D. 1984. Marine pollution control regulation: Regional Approaches. Marine Policy, 8: 106-119; and Wonham J., 1985. IMO and the Regional Seas Programme. IMO News, No. 2: 10-11. In May 1987, the World Bank announced a new programme in support of the Mediterranean Action Plan.
Chronologically, the programme coincided with the codification work of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (launched in December 1973 and finalized with the adoption of the UNCLOS-III Convention at Montego Bay in December 1982). This necessitated the inclusion of disclaimer clauses, at least in the earlier regional agreements, to reserve the legal positions of governments during the negotiation of the global treaty. As it turned out, chapter XII of the 1982 Convention (on protection and preservation of the marine environment) was fully compatible with the regional seas approach: the UN Convention actually makes extensive reference to the need for regional arrangements, and through its general extension of coastal state rights further reinforces these arrangements.36
36 See Johnston, D.M. & Enomoto, L.M.G., supra note 28; Vukas, B. 1977. The Mediterranean and the New International Law of the Sea. Jugoslovenska Revija za Medjunarodno Pravo, 24: 115-126; Johnston, D.M. ed. 1978. Regionalization of the Law of the Sea, Cambridge, Mass.; Boczek, B.A. 1984. Global and regional approaches to the protection and preservation of the marine environment. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 16: 39-70; and de Yturriaga, J.A. 1986. Protection of the marine environment against pollution. Yearbook of the Association of Attenders and Alumni of The Hague Academy of International Law, 54-56: 8-45.
Similarly, the global 1972 Ocean Dumping Convention expressly calls for the conclusion of related regional agreements; and the IMO conventions dealing with ship-based pollution have long recognized a number of semi-enclosed seas as special protection areas.37
37 Forster, M. 1986. Special areas in the sea: Treaty and legislative practice. Environmental Policy and Law, 16: 179-186; for a discussion of global vs. regional regulation in this field, see especially De Yturriaga, J.A., supra note 2, at 398-406. See also Quéguiner, J. 1978. The Mediterranean as a maritime trade route. Ocean Management, 3: 179-189. Jean Quéguiner, former Deputy Secretary General of IMO, was the principal draftsman of the 1976 Barcelona Protocol concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency.
In spite of its regional origins and constituencies, however, the main strength of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme has been its global outlook and expertise in dealing with problems that, far from being unique to any particular marine region, are frequently "shared" by all or most of them. Appraisals of the programme - which is now part of a wider UNEP Programme Activity Centre for Oceans and Coastal Areas38 - concur on the strategic advantage of interregional transfers of experience (including law-making experience, in particular). In pursuing simultaneously a dozen or so action plans in different regions of the world, the programme was bound to acquire a remarkable institutional memory: lessons learnt in one region were indeed rapidly applied elsewhere, not least because of the continuous personal involvement of a small core of experts both in the international secretariat and in the national government agencies concerned.39
38 In a comprehensive internal assessment of all UNEP programme elements carried out in January 1986, the Regional Seas Programme scored as being by far the most successful activity undertaken since 1974. See also Tolba M.K., 1982. Development without destruction, (Dublin) pp. 26-27, 142, 160-162; Yeroulanos M., 1982. The Mediterranean Action Plan: A success story in international cooperation. Ekistics, 49: 175-179; Mann-Borgese E., 1983. A new role for regional seas? Siren, No. 22: 2-25; Hulm P., 1983. The Regional Seas Programme: What fate for UNEP's crown jewels? Ambio, 12: 2-13; Dupuy P.M., 1983. United Nations Environment Programme. In Bernhardt R., ed. Encyclopedia of Public International Law, 5 (Amsterdam) 319-323, at 322; and the otherwise highly critical evaluation of UNEP performance by Smith II G.P., 1984. The United Nations and the environment: Sometimes a great notion? Texas International Law Journal, 19: 335-364, at 346. For a complete list of documents see UNEP. Oceans and coastal areas: Catalogue of publications, No. 2 (Nairobi, 1986), especially Regional Seas Reports and Studies, Nos. 1-81 (1982-1986) and the Programme's quarterly newsletter, The Siren, Nos. 1-33 (Meith N., ed., Geneva/Nairobi, 1978-1986).
39 See S. Kecke S., 1977. Theory and practice of the United Nations Environment Programme in dealing with marine pollution problems. Thalassia Jugoslavica, 13: 217-238; Thacher, P.S. & Meith, N. 1980. Approaches to regional marine problems: A progress report on UNEP's Regional Seas Programme. In Mann-Borgese, E. & Ginsburg, N., eds. Ocean Yearbook, 2 (Chicago) 153-182; Kecke, S. 1981. Regional seas: An emerging marine policy approach. In Alexander, L.M., ed. Comparative Marine Policy, University of Rhode Island 17-20; Kecke, S. 1982. The international protection of the environment on a regional level. Thesaurus Acroasium, 11: 127-143; Bliss-Guest, P. & Kecke S., 1982. The Regional Seas Programme of UNEP. Environmental Conservation, 9: 43-49; Thacher, P.S. 1983. An update on the Regional Seas Programme. Ocean Yearbook, 4: 450-463; and Thacher, P.S. 1985. Serving future generations. In Dupuy, R.J., ed. The future of the international law of the environment (Dordrecht) 451-469.
There have been several attempts at "globalizing" this experience, also in the form of universally applicable legal provisions. Between 1978 and 1981, the UNEP Working Group of Experts on Environmental Law elaborated a set of guidelines on environmental aspects of offshore mining and drilling.40 Although its conclusions were endorsed by the UNEP Governing Council and by the UN General Assembly in 1982,41 a 1985 progress report showed that very few governments had made use of the guidelines.42 There are indications, though, that these "soft law" rules may receive more attention in the future, as new regional protocols on offshore mining and drilling are currently being prepared both for the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.43 From 1982 to 1985, another working group of legal and scientific experts44 produced the so-called "Montreal Guidelines for the Protection of the Marine Environment Against Pollution from Land-based Sources".45 Endorsed by the UNEP Governing Council in 1985,46 the guidelines are expected to serve as a basis for ongoing and future drafting work both at the international and at the national level, taking into account also the fact that a number of coastal states are not today - and possibly never will be - covered by regional agreements.47
40 "Conclusions of the study of legal aspects concerning the environment related to offshore mining and drilling within the limits of national jurisdiction", text in Environmental Policy and Law, 7(1981): 50. For background see de Mestral, A.L.C. 1979. Prevention of pollution of the marine environment arising from offshore mining and drilling. Harvard International Law Journal, 20: 469-518.
41 Governing Council decision 10/14 (VI) of 31 May 1982, General Assembly Resolution 37/217 of 20 December 1982.
42 Progress report to the UN General Assembly, UNEP/GC.13/9/Add, 1 (1985).
43 Preparatory work in the context of the Mediterranean Action Plan has already been undertaken since 1978 on behalf of UNEP by the International Juridical Organization in Rome. For background see Treves, T. 1978. La pollution résultant de l'exploration et de l'exploitation des fonds marins en droit international. Annuaire Français de Droit International, 24: 827-850, at 830; and Fresia A., 1976. Aspects juridiques de la mise en valeur des hydrocarbures dans la Méditerranée. In Centre d'études et de recherche sur le droit de l'environnement marin. Le pétrole et la mer (Paris) 69-108. In the North Atlantic and Baltic region, the 1977 London Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage Resulting from Exploration for and Exploitation of Seabed Mineral Resources failed to obtain the necessary number of ratifications to enter into force; text in International Legal Materials, 16(1977): 1450. See Fleischer C.A., Oil spills: Convention to limit liability. Environmental Policy and Law, 3: 76-78; Dubais, B.A. 1977. The 1976 London Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage from Offshore Operations. Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, 9: 61-77; de Yturriaga, J.A. 1977. Convenio de Londres de 1977 sobre responsabilidad por danos por contaminación de hidrocarburos derivada de la explotación de los recursos minerales del subsuelo marino. Revista de Instituciones Europeas, 4: 729-742; and Fitzmaurice, V.E., 1978. Liability for North Sea oil pollution. Marine Policy, 2: 105-111.
44 The Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on the Protection of the Marine Environment against Pollution from Land-based Sources was established by the UNEP Governing Council in 1982, in response to the recommendations of the 1981 Montevideo Meeting of Senior Government Officials Expert in Environmental Law; text in Environmental Policy and Law, 8(1982): 31. See Sand, P.H. 1985. Environmental law in the United Nations Environment Programme. In Dupuy, R.J., ed. The future of the international law of the environment. (Dordrecht) 51-88, at 57.
45 Text in International Digest of Health Legislation, 36(1985): 1090; see Johnston, D.M. 1985. Systemic environmental damage: The challenge to international law and organization. Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce, 12: 255-282; Széll, P. 1986. The Montreal Guidelines for the protection of the marine environment against pollution from land-based sources. International Digest of Health Legislation, 37: 391-394; and Hugler, O. 1986. Völkerrechtliche Kodifikation zum Schutz der Meeresumwelt gegen Verschmutzung. Neue Justiz, 40: 10-13.
46 Governing Council decision 13/18 (II) of 24 May 1985.
47 For a proposal to transform the Montreal Guidelines into a global convention see Passman, P.S. 1986. Japanese hazardous waste policy: Signaling the need for global and regional measures to control land-based sources of pollution. Virginia Journal of International Law, 26: 921-964.
No doubt there are problems for which regional agreements are not an ideal solution. It has been pointed out, for instance, that marine pollution from or through the atmosphere calls for a global approach, in view of the realities of long-range atmospheric transport and dispersion of pollutants, and of the remoteness of sources which invariably include non-coastal states.48 Another example is the conservation of endangered marine species, where global UNEP-administered agreements such as the 1973 Washington Convention (CITES)49 and the 1979 Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals50 have begun to play an important role, in conjunction with the FAO/UNEP Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Management and Utilization of Marine Mammals.51 It may be worth noting, however, that the only agreements under which intergovernmental action has been initiated so far to control air pollution of oceans are regional ones;52 and not only is there a growing number of regional seas treaties dealing specifically with the conservation of threatened species and natural areas,53 but also the first major activity to be carried out under the 1979 Bonn Convention will be a regional agreement for the protection of harbour seals in the Wadden Sea.54 As Jean Carroz once wearily concluded on the subject of regional conservation agreements: "On pourrait être tenté d'écrire à leur propos ce que Churchill disait de la démocratie: c'est certainement le régime le plus mauvais ... à l'exception de tous les autres."55
48 de Yturriaga, J.A. supra note 2, at 387, 423; see also Kwiatkowska, B. 1984. Marine pollution from land-based sources: Current problems and prospects. Ocean Development and international Law, 14: 315-325.
49 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, text in United Nations Treaty Series, 993/243. For an analysis of the Convention's effect on the conservation of whales, see Osterwoldt, R.U. 1982. International law and politics of conservation: The case of the whales. Univ. Oxford (M.Litt. thesis); and Birnie, P.W. 1985. International regulation of whaling. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
50 Text in International Legal Materials, 19(1980): 15; on the controversy over the inclusion of marine species in the annexes to this Convention see Lyster, S. 1985. International Wildlife Law (Cambridge) 282-289.
51 Endorsed in 1983 by the FAO Committee on Fisheries and in 1984 by the UNEP Governing Council, the International Whaling Commission and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; see Nielsen, B. 1986. Ambio, 15: 134-136; and Lindquist, A. 1987. The Pilot Newsletter of the Marine Mammals Action Plan, 1 No. 1: 15-18. The plan includes regional projects, such as the protection of monk seals in the Mediterranean.
52 In the context of Article 2/2 of the 1974 Helsinki Convention (supra note 10), a monitoring programme for the airborne pollution load of the Baltic Sea area was initiated in 1985. In the context of the 1980 Athens Protocol (supra note 11), a pilot project to study air pollutant deposition into the Mediterranean region and pollutant concentrations in air was initiated in 1986 under the UNEP/MEDPOL monitoring programme. The 1974 Paris Convention (supra note 9) was amended on 26 March 1986 to include pollution inputs from the atmosphere to the northeast Atlantic; text in International Digest of Health Legislation, 37(1986): 878. The only multilateral treaty dealing specifically with air pollution control - including effects on the marine environment - is the 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (in force 16 March 1983), text in International Legal Materials, 18(1979): 1442, together with a 1984 Protocol on long-term financing of the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe. (EMEP) and the 1985 Helsinki Protocol on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions or Their Transboundary Fluxes by at least 30%; text in International Digest of Health Legislation, 36(1985): 799. The convention applies to Europe and North America, and is administered within the framework of the UN Economic Commission for Europe; for background see Tollan A., 1985. The Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Journal of World Trade Law, 19: 615-621.
53 Besides the above-mentioned UNEP protocols for the Mediterranean (Geneva, 1982, supra note 12) and the Eastern African region (Nairobi, 1985, supra note 19), see the 1980 Canberra Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, text in Environmental Policy and Law, 6(1980): 140.
54 Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Proceedings of the First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Bonn, October 1985), vol. I, paragraph 9 (tripartite agreement between Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Netherlands).
55 Carroz, J.E. 1971. La Commission internationale des pêches pour l'Atlantique Sud-Est. Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 9: 3-29, at 29.