Law of the Sea Workshop

co-hosted by Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington and the Embassy of Japan in Wellington

Day One: Wednesday 28 April 2021

All times are in NZST

Time Activity
12 pm Lunch
(Wellington participants only)
12:45 pm Welcome
1 pm Session One
Biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and its implications for the region
2:30 pm Afternoon Tea
(Wellington participants only)
3-4:45 pm Session Two
IUU Fishing

Day Two: Thursday 29 April 2021

All times are in NZST

Time Activity
12 pm Lunch
(Wellington participants only)
1 pm Session Three
Climate change and marine environmental protection in the Pacific
2:30 pm Afternoon Tea
(Wellington participants only)
3-4:45 pm Session Four
Maintaining the rule of law at sea
6 pm Public event
(RH LT2) Panel discussion: South China Sea – where to from here?
(Wellington participants only)
7-8 pm Reception
(Wellington participants only)

session one – 28 April 2021 – 1pm start

Biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and its implications for the region

This panel will examine the negotiations for the new international legally binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) and discuss aspects of the draft ILBI that will be of interest to the Asia-Pacific Region. Topics may include: the position of Small Island States (SIDS) in the negotiation; traditional knowledge, adjacency, coastal states’ role in environmental impact assessment and the establishment of marine protected areas; and how the disagreements on marine genetic resources might be bridged.

session two – 28 April 2021 – 3pm start

IUU fishing

This panel will address the complex challenges of regulating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems and continues to undermine national and regional efforts to manage fisheries more sustainably. Topics may include: the transnational crime of IUU fishing; restrictive trade measures to combat IUU fishing; regional ocean governance in the Pacific; and other legal and policy responses.

session three – 29 April 2021 – 1pm start

Climate change and marine environmental protection in the Pacific

This panel will address legal challenges around climate change and environmental protection in the Pacific. Topics may include responses to climate change and sea level rise; and the changing marine environment and the implications for resource management, marine protected areas and other topics. 

session four – 29 April 2021 – 3pm start

Maintaining the rule of law at sea

This panel will examine the current state of the legal order for the world’s oceans and assess how well the regime under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is able to address the many future maritime challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. Topics may include: enforcement of (international) law at sea; dispute settlement mechanisms; human rights and the law of the sea; UNCLOS as a living treaty; the role of law in maritime security; maritime migration and the rule of law at sea.

Public event – 29 April 2021 – 6pm start

Panel discussion: South China Sea – where to from here?

Rutherford House Lecture Theatre 2, Victoria University of Wellington Pipitea Campus. Followed by a reception. 

In this public panel discussion, speakers will be asked to consider the future of the South China Sea disputes from the perspective of the law of the sea. Topics might include: has the South China Sea arbitration strengthened or weakened the conflict; new issues such as the use of archipelagic baselines around South China Sea features or the role of fishing militia in disputes over fishing rights; and whether the new Code of Conduct is likely to improve the situation in the South China Sea.

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