28 December 2017

The Sea and Science

On 6 November 2017, a second symposium on The Sea and Science was held at the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) member institution University of São Paulo (Brazil). The symposium, which was organized by CEDMAR (“Centro de Estudos em Direito do Mar”)—a UNAI ASPIRE (Action by Students to Promote Innovation and Reform through Education) chapter—took an interdisciplinary approach to the Law of the Sea, as it brought together scholars and researchers from various scientific fields as well as engineers, oceanographers and lawyers. The symposium also raised awareness around Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Life below water”.

The second symposium on The Sea and Science, organized by CEDMAR (“Centro de Estudos em Direito do Mar”)—a UNAI ASPIRE (Action by Students to Promote Innovation and Reform through Education) chapter and held on 6 November 2017—featured presentations given by students and members of CEDMAR. Matheus Presotto addressed the impact of the exploration of marine living resources on the high seas, while Murilo Parise analysed ITLOS (The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea) Case 17 on the responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the so-called “Area” (i.e. the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction). While Eduardo Cavalcanti discussed a scientific project carried out by the Brazilian Navy at the Archipelago of São Pedro and São Paulo and the differences, according to article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), between “rock” and “island”, Luana Perella Milani examined the protection of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and related intellectual property implications—topics being discussed at the meetings of the Preparatory Committee established by the United Nations General Assembly for the development of an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

As the symposium continued, Prof. Barbara Mourão Sachett looked at the origins of the principle of common heritage of mankind and its role at the Preparatory Committee's discussions; while Milena Malteze highlighted the international responsibility of States regarding environmental damage caused during the exploration of the Area, analysing the issue from the point of view of the obligations foreseen in UNCLOS and their impacts on domestic legislation. Prof. Edmilson dos Santos from the University of São Paulo Institute of Energy and Environment made a presentation on offshore oil exploration; and Prof. Fernanda Corrêa discussed deep sea exploration industries and their contributions to the economic development of Brazil. Finally, Prof. Nelson Speranza examined maritime terrorism; Prof. Javier Alcántara Carrió from the University of São Paulo Institute of Oceanography addressed the diversity and protection of the Brazilian coast; and Prof. Wagner Menezes, founder and president of CEDMAR, highlighted the importance of the dialogue among the  different fields of science that deal with the sea in order to facilitate better protection and regulation.

The publication of a volume with the papers presented at The Sea and the Science I and II and the outcomes of both symposiums was announced for the end of the first semester of 2018. CEDMAR also agreed to organize the next symposium at the University of São Paulo Institute of Oceanography.