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Carina Costa de Oliveira and Sandrine Maljean-Dubois

‘Global public goods’, ‘common heritage’ and the ‘global commons’ are concepts used to describe elements of the political and legal regime concerning marine resources. In this chapter it is explained, however, that these concepts are limited when it comes to determining the obligations of states and of international organizations regarding marine resources conservation. The question of whether a duty of cooperation to protect the marine environment exists or not is considered; and limitations on the different concepts are discussed. It is then averred that – even if the intrinsic purpose of the concepts discussed can be questioned – these concepts currently dominate the debate on marine resources. Their existence, whether scientifically useful or not, can therefore not be denied or ignored. It is argued that, to understand what they can concretely offer to the legal discussions on marine resources, these concepts must be articulated with the more precise legal obligations such as the ‘obligation to cooperate’ and the ‘duty of due diligence’, as applied to marine resources. Accordingly, this chapter concludes by considering how these concepts could be combined and related to more concrete obligations in order to be made more effective.

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Ana Flávia Barros-Platiau, Carina Costa de Oliveira, Gabriela G.B. Lima Moraes and Pierre Mazzega

Chapter 10 provides a balanced view on bioprospecting in Antarctica, an issue that gradually attracts the attention of governments, scientists and the commercial sector in recent years. Given the fact that the ATS has no regulation of bioprospecting yet, the chapter examines some key legal and political challenges for regulating Antarctic bioprospecting in the future. Questions are raised such as: whether the interest of humankind and the freedom of scientific research could be balanced with the appropriation of biological material from Antarctica; should the ATS be self-contained to regulate bioprospecting (e.g., through a mandate of CCAMLR), or should global regimes, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity be applicable in this case; and who should benefit from Antarctic bioprospecting and how to share potential benefits among developed and developing countries?