Presentation

Marking the occasion of European Maritime Day, on 20 May, the Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa will host the 3rd International Conference on “Protecting the Coastal and Marine Environment”.  As before, this event will include targeted discussions, and in this edition will address the sustainable development of the seacoast and protection of the marine environment, with a focus on the noxious impact of human actions and the future of the human race.  Aside from accounting for more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, marine ecosystems remain poorly understood compared to terrestrial ecosystems.  We know more about the surface of the Moon than the bottom of the sea.

Coastal and marine ecosystems, which are extremely fragile and complex, are home to some of the most valuable species of fauna and flora, underscoring the need to raise awareness and engage the issues surrounding their protection.  We must examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of the legal instruments to spare them from over-exploitation, as well as the need (or not) of a system of marine governance over human actions on the sea and in the littoral regions.  Considering that 60% of the world’s human population lives in coastal regions and 80% of world tourism is in such areas, the phenomenon of “littoralization” that affects many countries including Portugal, places constant urbanization pressure on these regions – and not just on the coastal ecosystems – all of which brings considerable risks to the people living there. These risks are exacerbated even further by climate change, the effects of which are raising great peril for the marine environment – highlighting the urgency of seeking measures to address the deteriorating situation, and assigning priorities of action for countering, or at least minimizing, the threats.

Topics

Topic 1

The “Atlantic Strategy” and international cooperation regarding marine regions.

The plan of action for a marine strategy in the Atlantic area (COM 2013 (279) Final), better known as the “Atlantic Strategy”, is a joint venture of five EU member states (France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK) that seeks intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive growth in the area of the North Atlantic Ocean.  It sets out priorities for research and investment until the year 2020 among the maritime regions established in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), aimed at environmental protection.  The regions therein were established according to the principle of ecosystem based management, while respecting the sovereign and legal territoriality of each of the member states, as prescribed in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  This convention meant to define the maritime borders between member states, but many states have never accepted the prescriptions laid down in the document, thereby hindering the full implementation of the MSFD.

Topic 3

Coastline erosion and climate change.

In addition to the existing legislation on the planning and management of the marine space seeking to reconcile economic development and environmental protection, the EU has proposed a legal measure that until now remains only a recommendation:  the Joint Management of the Coastal Zone (JMCZ).  Via the document COM (2013) 133 Final, the EU sets the following goal:  “establish a framework for joint planning in the maritime space and coastline management with the aim of promoting sustainable development of maritime and coastal economies and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.”  The proposed directive mentions that its scope of application would be the coastal zone and territorial waters, but is unclear about how it would articulate with other directives that also address these same issues (MSFD and DQA) [the DQA has not been mentioned or identified anywhere above]  or even internal laws pertaining to these matters.  This poses a legal dilemma – a puzzle, in fact, with many pieces that are hard to fit together that must be assembled with urgency.  The urgency derives from two things:  first, the coastline is suffering rapid erosion as a result of the lack of planning, and has been since the 1960s – the result of “sun and beach” tourism and the many economic activities based in the coastal regions or that have an indirect impact on them – and second, the ever greater threat of the rising sea level, driven by climate change.

Topic 2

Maritime Strategies and use of marine spaces.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) calls upon the member states to cooperate in developing strategies in their shared regions, seeking marine-environmental goals, but the Directive is riddled with ambiguities regarding the nature of these strategies. At the same time, other EU documents, although targeting similar goals, recommend that the member states undertake marine-space planning (MSP), by which certain countries (including Portugal) already have a National Strategy for the Sea (NSE) – RCM nr. 12/2014 of 12 February – as well as marine strategies for achieving the MSFD and elements of the MSP, including a project of legal bases for planning and management of the national marine space (Decree Law nr. 17/2014 of 10 April. Meanwhile, there is little articulation among these various legal measures – making their discussion all the more imperative.


Topic 4

Preserving biodiversity – over-use of marine resources.

Marine and coastal ecosystems are extremely fragile and complex, and are the home of some of the most valuable species of fauna and flora. This absolutely demands a proper debate over the efficacy and appropriateness of the legal instruments seeking to protect them from overuse, and whether or not there should be a system of joint marine management in their defense. Creating networks is one of suggestions advanced to pursue environmental protection, but although this is seen to have some advantages, it is recognized that this solution is not enough to provide all of the protection needed, and that solutions must be more robust. We expect spirited discussion on this topic as well as on the issue of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). European Union Regulation nr. 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and Council, of 11 December, marked the first step in the CFP, in which it was hoped to correct the serious errors committed (and admitted) by the EU itself that had such a disastrous effect on European marine biodiversity.

Organization

Science commission

  • Prof.ª Doutora Branca Martins da Cruz
    Instituto Lusíada para o Direito do Ambiente
    Centro de Estudos Jurídicos, Económicos e Ambientais 
    Universidades Lusíada
  • Prof.ª Doutora Amparo Sereno Rosado
    Centro de Estudos Jurídicos, Económicos e Ambientais 
    Universidades Lusíada
  • Prof.ª Doutora Elizabeth Accioly Rodrigues da Costa
    Faculdade de Direito
    Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa
  • Mestre Rafael Prado
    Sociedade Latino-Americana de Direito Internacional


Support

  • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
    Ministério da Educação e Ciência
    Este trabalho é financiado por Fundos Nacionais através da FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia no âmbito do projecto
    «PEst-OE/CJP/UI4053/2014».


  • Instituto Lusíada para o Direito do Ambiente
    Universidades Lusíada




  • Centro de Estudos Jurídicos, Económicos e Ambientais 
    Universidades Lusíada




  • Associação Académica
    Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa




Program

20 May 2014

18H00 Openning session
  • Prof.ª Doutora Branca Martins da Cruz
    Instituto Lusíada para o Direito do Ambiente
    Centro de Estudos Jurídicos, Económicos e Ambientais 
    Universidades Lusíada
19H00 Student works/reports
20H00 Student works/reports

21 May 2014

09H00 Student works/reports
10H00 Conference
  • Topic 1: The "Atlantic Strategy" and international cooperation regarding marine regions.
  Discussion
 12H00 Conference
  • Topic 2: Maritime Strategies and use of marine spaces.
  Discussion
13H00 Lunch break
 15H00 Conference
  • Topic 3: Coastline erosion and climate change.
  Discussion
 16H00 Conference
  • Topic 4: Preserving biodiversity – over-use of marine resources.
  Discussion
18H00  Closing session
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Inscrição

Data limite de inscrição - 18 Maio 2014

Preçário

Estudantes das Universidades Lusíada 10,00 Euros
Estudantes de outras instituições 20,00 Euros
Alumni (antigos alunos das Universidades Lusíada) 20,00 Euros
Professores das Universidades Lusíada 10,00 Euros
Professores de outras instituições 30,00 Euros
Restantes participantes 60,00 Euros

 

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