Preservation of the environment of Mediterranean Islands: the need for a special legal status
Université de Limoges, France OMIJ/CRIDEAU, CIDCE http://www.unilim.fr/crideau/ tel. +30 (0)7 70 08 21 30
The increasing concerns regarding environmental protection and climate change effects, compels us to examine the efficiency of current policies for the protection of some of the most vulnerable territories, such as islands. Such policies fail because they do not take into account the specific territorial characteristics of islands.
The Mediterranean Islands, despite their differences such as size, institutional status, jurisdiction and legal system, share common problems on many levels. They face the same environmental challenges, similar socio-economic problems and share a number of issues concerning legal protection.
In this context, we examine the possibility for creating a legal status for the integrated protection of the environment of the Mediterranean islands.
The main obstacles towards such an endeavor are twofold: 1) islands have different roles in legal orders such as the international, EU or national level 2) the superposition of these legal orders creates a fragmentation of the pertinent legal system.
Nevertheless, trends in current legislation of the EU and the UN tend to recognize the specific characteristics of islands. Indeed, islands are priority territories for the UN. The Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean sea and coastal zone, provides some specific measures for islands. The EU is constantly referring to the specific vulnerabilities of islands.
After analyzing those specific measures, it will be argued that an integrated protection of the Mediterranean Islands is both necessary and possible.
The proposed talk is based on research undertaken in a PhD cadre, in progress since 2012.