Seminars on the Arctic

Seminars on the Arctic

17 January 2019, Thursday, 4pm-5.30pm

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Associate Professor
UiT, The Arctic University of Norway

People around the world are turning to the courts to ensure that steps are taken to tackle climate change, using litigation as a tool to force action. An emerging trend in climate litigation is to look to other legal regimes for sources of climate obligation and there is a growing number of climate change cases looking at the relationship between human rights and climate change, and refugee law and climate change. This presentation looks at the role of the law of the sea regime in Arctic climate change cases, in which some connection to ocean issues are identified. Either because the activities that contribute to GHG emissions takes place in the ocean space, or because the effects are felt there.

About the Speaker – Dr Elise Johansen is an associate professor at the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS), Faculty of law, UIT The Arctic University of Norway. She has taught and published on international law of the sea, international and Norwegian climate law, and international and Norwegian environmental law. She has been the project leader of one of JCLOS five main research programmes, and the leader of JCLOS research project on Climate Change and the law of the sea (CCLOS). She has also been the head of two academic programs; the The Master of Laws (LL.M) in Law of the Sea, and the fourth year of the Norwegian integrated master in Law, both at the Faculty of Law, UIT The Arctic University of Norway. Her main research interests are the interrelationship between climate change and the law of the sea, as well as international environmental law focusing especially on protection of the marine environment. 


Prof Ingvild Ulrikke JAKOBSEN
Vice Dean for Research
K G Jebsen Center for the Law of the Sea
UiT, the Arctic University of Norway

The marine environment in the Arctic faces environmental degradation from radioactive waste, pollution from persistent organic pollutants, from plastic and heavy metals as well as oil pollution. Climate change is a major threat to the marine ecosystems and a more severe threat in the Arctic than in other areas. States around the world have established marine protected areas (MPAs) as a conservation tool for biological diversity. In this presentation I will examine the legal framework for the use of this tool in the marine Arctic. This includes examination of global instruments such as the Law of the Sea convention, regional cooperation through the OSPAR Convention and the Arctic Council as well as some examples of national implementation. A particular question is whether the tool has the potential to mitigate and facilitate the adaptation and ecosystems to the effects of climate change in this region.

About the Speaker – Professor Ingvild Ulrikke Jakobsen is Vice Dean for research at the Faculty of Law at UiT the Arctic University of Norway and co-leader of the KG Jebsen Center for the Law of the Sea. Jakobsen has published extensively within international law of the sea and environmental law. Her doctoral thesis was on marine protected areas in international law (2010).