States’ Environmental Obligations in Disputed Maritime Areas and the Limits of International Law

Constantinos Yiallourides, Natalia Ermolina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There are many cases worldwide where two or more States’ maritime claims over ocean space and marine resources overlap, leading to disputed maritime areas. Many of these disputed maritime areas include rare or fragile marine ecosystems and constitute the habitat of vulnerable species. General environmental provisions under international law are binding upon States in disputed maritime areas. Yet, environmental degradation of disputed maritime areas is a live, ongoing, and potentially increasing problem. This chapter explores the specific contours of these environmental obligations and how these may be applied in dispute settlement under UNCLOS. It addresses three important environmental legal issues in international jurisprudence and State practice and which are relevant to the obligations of States acting in disputed maritime areas: (1) the duty to cooperate over environmental matters; (2) the duty to apply a precautionary approach; and (3) the duty to conduct an environmental impact assessment and monitor environmental impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative Law Yearbook of International Business
EditorsChristian Campbell
Place of PublicationNetherlands
PublisherKluwer Law International
Number of pages28
VolumeVolume 42A
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-035-3165-6
ISBN (Print)978-94-035-3163-2
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2021


  • Environmental Protection
  • Overlapping Maritime Areas
  • Fragile Ecosystems
  • Precautionary Principle
  • EIA
  • Provisional Measures


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