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Some Reflections On Bioprospecting In The Polar Regions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter address bioprospecting with respect to the Arctic and the Antarctic separately. In both cases, the role of oceans is important. The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by landmasses; Antarctica is a continent surrounded by ocean. As four of the five Arctic coastal states are parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) and the fifth coastal state accepts that many provisions of the LOS Convention embody customary international law, the LOS Convention can be said to provide a framework for all human activities in the world's oceans (also the Arctic Ocean), including bioprospecting. For four of the five Arctic coastal states that are parties to it, the Convention on Biological Diversity also applies. Much of the Arctic Ocean is also subject to national jurisdiction.

Keywords: Antarctica; Arctic; bioprospecting; customary international law; LOS Convention; national jurisdiction; Polar Regions; Protocol on Environmental Protection



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