The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Paul Martin and Amanda Kennedy
Chapter 9: Marine protection treaties in Antarctic Waters: fragmentation or coordination in international treaty implementation
Awareness of the need for cross-sectoral coordination in marine management emerged in the middle of the last quarter of the twentieth century. Marine management fragmentation occurring at the national level is mirrored at the international level, where improved coordination in the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) is needed. This chapter considers international environmental coordination using a case study of Antarctic marine governance. The terminology used here reflects usage in the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP's) Guidelines on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (UNEP Guidelines). A State is said to ‘implement’ an international norm at the domestic level when it adopts appropriate domestic measures to meet its obligations. Implementation measures might include legislation, policies or allocation of resources. Legal implementation occurs in three phases: adopting national legal measures; enforcing them; and reporting on the implementation measures. MEA ‘enforcement’ is the process of ensuring domestic conformity with national laws that implement MEAs. This typically involves coercive apparatus, such as inspectors, police, courts and tribunals. There is no MEA addressing international enforcement. International compliance mechanisms seek to ensure national implementation of MEAs. Part I of the UNEP Guidelines defines compliance as: the fulfilment by the contracting Parties of their obligations under a multilateral environmental agreement and any amendments to the multilateral environmental agreement. Reporting is often an obligation within an MEA’s compliance mechanism. It is helpful to report on obligations under particular treaty provisions, rather than for a treaty overall.
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