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Michael B. Gerrard & Gregory E. Wannier (eds.), Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implications of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate (book review)


Terminski, Bogumil

Review: Gerrard, Michael B.; Wannier, Gregory E. (ed.): Threatened island nations: legal implications of rising seas and a changing climate. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013. 978-1-107-02576-9
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Abstract This book explores the impact of climate change on the legal situation of small island states such as Marshall Islands. Climate change-related problems of these nations touching their legal situation in a very different way than in the case of large countries threatened by economic and social consequences of sea level rise (such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nigeria and Egypt). Presentation of scientific forecasts is an introduction to the in-depth deliberations from the point of view of international law. According to many researchers, global sea level rise of 0,5-1 m. is highly possible in the next hundred years. Sea level rise is not the only climate-related threat experienced by small island states. Among other significant problems associated with climate change we can list tropical cyclones, floods, and droughts. Island nations must prepare for such problems on the basis of public international law. The authors draw attention to the most crucial legal challenges associated with sea level rise, such as the deterritorialization of the state, continuity of statehood, the issue of citizenship or the legal status of forced environmental migrants. The authors draw attention to the significant legal challenges (e.g. the legal status of migrants forced to leave their country of origin/residence as a result of irreversible climate change). This issue has still not been regulated by international law documents. Much attention is also being paid to the analysis of the consequences of climate change on the basis of international law of the sea. The core elements of the analysis presented in this book are, inter alia, the impact of sea level rise on Exclusive Economic Zones and fishing rights. The book is focused on the social and legal challenges facing microstates. Presented considerations may become a useful point of reference in the analysis of the problems facing larger countries affected by climate change and sea level rise.
Keywords Pacific Rim; climate change; impact; small state; legal status; law of nations; human rights; refugee law; migration
Classification Law; Ecology, Environment
Document language Other language
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 53-56
Journal Revista Europea de Derecho de la Navegación Marítima y Aeronáutica (2013) 30
ISSN 1130-2127
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications