Environmental and Maritime Security for a Blue South China Sea

From October 10 to October 12, 2016, in Hai Phong City, an International Seminar entitled “Environmental and Maritime Security for a blue South China Sea” was organized jointly by the Hai Phong Branch’s Union of Science and Technology Associations and the Nature and Marine Environment Association of Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) with the attendance of 200 foreign and domestic scholars and scientists.

16 reports and presentations had been presented and discussed by the participants of the Seminar on objective, constructive and scientific spirit and with a view to jointly building a Blue South China Sea – a healthy, prosperous, and peaceful ocean.

The Proceedings of the above-mentioned Seminar can be found at: https://www.academia.edu/30586028/ENVIRONMENTAL_AND_MARITIME_SECURITY_FOR_A_BLUE_SOUTH_CHINA_SEA.


The SELCOM has selected 10 news fellows for 2017-2018


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he SELCOM convened at the United Nations Headquaters in New York, USA, on 10 November 2016 and the composition was as follow :

Representative for DOALOS/Chair :

Mr. François Bailet (Senior Legal Advisor)

Representative for The Nippon Foundation of Japan:

Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno (Executive Director)

Eminent Scholar :

Prof. Mariko Kawano (Professor of International Law, Waseda University)

Representative for the Fellowship Alumni :

Mr. Abbas Daher Djama (United Nations-Nippon Fellowship Global Alumni Representative)

Secretary of the SELCOM :

Ms. Valentina Germani (Programme Advisor, DOALOS)

Representative for the Nippon Foundation of Japan

Mr. Takashi Arikawa (Marine Affairs Department)

We are pleased to announce that the Selection Committee selected the following ten candidates for 2017-2018 fellowship awards :

Fellows Country Region
Mr. Bakai Matchonnawe Togo


West Africa and Atlantic Ocean Islands
Mr. Camara Bangaly Guinea


West Africa and Atlantic Ocean Islands
Mr.  El Diwany Ibrahim Egypt Arabian Peninsula
Mr. Ayaad Mohammad Jordan Arabian Peninsula
Ms. Migodela Edith Getrude Tanzania


East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands
Ms. Htet Theint Myanmar South East Asia
Mr. Khanal Gobinda Nepal South East Asia
Ms. Bowie Wilches Jenny Colombia


Latin American and the Caribbean
Mr. Parry Eavin Saint Kitts and Nevis


Latin American and the Caribbean
Mr. Santos Felipe




Latin American and the Caribbean

World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time has Come

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he time has come for the conservation of the high seas and its outstanding universal value!

A new report launched by UNESCO titled World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time has Come, presents five sites that illustrate different ecosystems, from biodiversity-rich areas to the natural phenomena that can only be found in the depths of the ocean. It also explores three ways in which the protection of the Convention could be expanded to protect these zones in the high seas.

Political momentum is increasing to support the development of a new legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Click here and read the report: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/world_heritage_in_the_high_seas_an_idea_whose_time_has_come/#.V6Nf_mXmvEp

United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellows (2016) – week 6 activities

United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellows (2016) – week 6 activities

The sixth week of the fellowship programme started with the presentation on Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries. The presentation was conducted by both Mr Vladimir Jares (Deputy Director of DOALOS) and Mr Shawn Stanley (GIS Officer). In addition to the Nippon fellows, representatives of Asia Pacific Regional programme from Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines participated to the presentation. First part of the presentation was conducted by Mr Vladimir Jares covering Basic of Maritime Boundary and Limitation. State depository obligations under UNCLOS and the technical standard (especially web portal) were explained in the second part of the presentation by Mr. Shawn Stanley. It was informative presentation in which the participants specially discussed Articles 33, 55-75 and 76-84. After the presentation, fellows clarified some important points from the resource persons.


Pres with Asia Pacific

Representatives of the Asia Pacific Regional Programme

A presentation on Overview of the UNCLOS and Maritime Zones was given on the second day of the sixth week. It was the continuatioVG presentationn of the first day presentation and it comprehensively explained about maritime zones and their relevant articles; it was delivered by Mrs. Valentina Germani. Fellows clearly clarified the different maritime zones and the legal backgrounds that are related to the each zones. Sources of the international law, general obligation of “the Area”, and delimitation of the maritime boundaries were also covered under the presentation.



Ms Charity Gumani who was the Librarian of the UN DOALOS retired from the ChaDivision. Her retirement was celebrated by all UN DOALOS staff members, UN Nippon Fellows and Interns by having farewell lunch. Director of UN DOALOS, Ms. Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli tanked to Ms Charity Gumani for her service rendered to the division. More than 20 years, she had been serving the division in her life time.

Note for Charity Gumani

There is a Chinese saying: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” More than 20 years, you have helped more than 1000 of the people in the world, providing teaching resources, information and referral services for their studies and your outstanding service help to disseminate UNCLOS and DOALOS activities in the world.  Therefore we Nippon Fellows wish that “your retirement will be everything you dreamed that it would be”.


In the last two days of the week, fellows continued their research projects and enjoyed some social time during the “happy hours”.

United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellows (2016) – week 5  activities

Summary of Fellowship Activities for 18-22 April 2016

       The Fellows began the week by continuing with their individual research outline preparations. They did so by taking the opportunity to visit the libraries located at UN Headquarters and at DOALOS in order to gather information on their chosen topics. As of 18-22 April 2016, these preliminary topics have been selected by the Fellows:


Fellow Working Title of Thesis Summary
1. Bojotlhe Butale (Botswana) Charting Landlocked States Participation in Resource Exploitation in the High Seas: A Case for Botswana


The objective is to explore landlocked states’ transit regime under UNCLOS, regionally and bilaterally, then assess challenges and avenues for Botswana to fully utilize its newly purchased ports as access points to Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ)


2. Epeli Maesema (Fiji) Definition of Maritime Boundaries with Neighboring States: A Case for Fiji


·         Identify Fiji’s position in the delimitation of its maritime boundary between adjacent States mainly focusing on the claim over Minerva reefs between Fiji and Tonga.

·         Outline on the intricate legal and technical principles of delineating Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as to clearly define that Minerva reefs are within Fiji’s jurisdiction. In this regards, the research will further explore on gathering technical evidence to ensure that by delimiting Fiji’s EEZ both the concerned reefs are clearly indicated in the map of Fiji’s EEZ.

·         Look into applicable international laws including the 1982 UNCLOS to Identify the legal regime defining an island and a reef.

·         Identify options for both countries in terms of bilateral negotiations on how both countries can come into a delimitation agreement.


3. Randy Bumburi (Guyana) The Socio-economic Impact of Robberies at Sea on the Economic Stability of Guyana’s Artisanal Fisheries Sector


The Fisheries Sector of Guyana plays a vital role to the economic stability of many Guyanese, both directly and indirectly. Many fisherfolk are uneducated and lean towards various aspects of fisheries as a source security and income. Robbery at sea, is the practice of attacking and robbing small fishing vessels, has plagued Guyana’s artisanal fisheries for a long time. This occurrence is notably practiced by local fishermen as there are many reported cases of the catch and vessel engine being taken. The mechanisms in place for reporting these incidents in Guyana are poor; most reports will only reach the competent authorities when reported by the media. There are many other unreported incidents which are only hard through the grape vine. The effects of these attacks in Guyana also extend to the doors of our neighbouring Suriname, as assailants would either attack Surinamese vessels or use their waters as a getaway option. Combating these acts prove to be challenging as the human resources are limited and ill equipped to handle and effectively resolve this form of Illegal Unreported and Unregulated  (IUU) fishing.


4. Vivian Lezama Pizzati (Honduras) Implementation of Decisions from ICJ, PCA and other Dispute Settlement Mechanisms In order to create a uniform and transparent process for implementing decisions by ICJ, PCA and other dispute settlement mechanisms, with the aid of existing case law and interviews by leading authorities on maritime boundaries and dispute settlement mechanisms, I pretend to create a set of Guidelines to address the implementation process


5. Zaki Busro (Indonesia) Fisheries in ABNJ This study emphasizes the necessity of including fisheries in the proposed Internationally Legally Binding Agreement to the UNCLOS. The reasons for this are that: (1) existing institutional frameworks (RFMOs) will be strengthened, (2) current legal frameworks will be fortifies, and (3) it will help integrate the system of global ocean affairs by establishing the connection between fisheries and other related aspects. Finally, this study will also delve deeper into how side events and bilateral meetings can help bridge the discrepancies amongst the delegates to the Preparatory Committee
6. Caroline Wamaitha (Kenya) A Critical Review of State Cooperation in Tackling Maritime Piracy and Robbery at Sea: A Comparative Study of the Case of Gulf of Guinea and Gulf of Aden My research is a critical review of the efficacy of the State cooperation approach and measures in combating maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea (both crimes referred to herein as ‘maritime illicit activities’) in the Gulf of Guinea. In my analysis I will be compare the case of the Gulf of Guinea to that of the Gulf of Aden, particularly the latter’s documented success of State cooperation approach and measures employed in tackling maritime illicit activities. The choice of the Gulf of Aden as a comparator was based on the fact that the approach and measures regional States are adopting in dealing with the Gulf of Guinea maritime illicit activities were ‘influenced’ by the approach and measures adopted by regional States in tackling the Gulf of Aden maritime illicit activities.


7. Chizoba (Margaret) Odanwu (Nigeria) Critical Evaluation of Nigerian Maritime Legal Framework for the Effective Prosecution of Maritime Crimes: Need for Domestication of UNCLOS


I will evaluate the legal framework as they currently exist in Nigeria today with regards to their adequacy in addressing the challenges of Maritime Prosecution.

I will further try to find/proffer a practical solution aimed at addressing the challenges of the upsurge in maritime crimes in the country.


8. Jacqueline Espenilla (Philippines) Maritime crimes in the Tri-Border Area: A Three Way Security Challenge for the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia Analysis of maritime security problems (particularly piracy, kidnapping, terrorism and other transnational crimes) for the littoral states facing the Celebes and Sulu seas – areas which tend to be overlooked by policy makers and security strategists due to controversial issues pertaining to sovereignty. Among others, the study will assess the existing national and sub-regional maritime security infrastructure (domestic laws, coastal security agencies, etc.) in the tri-border area, current cooperation regimes, and the degree of maritime domain awareness among the three states (as operationalized in law and actual practice).


9. Aruna Maheepala (Sri Lanka) A Comprehensive Study on Barriers and Sustainable Options for Effective Implementation of Fisheries Laws in Sri Lanka The enforcement and monitoring of fishery rules and regulations is important for domestic, regional and global perspectives. However, lack of adherence to the laws and regulations are major threats to marine resource sustainability. Hence, the objective of this study is to identify the barriers/practical issues to implement rules and regulations which relate to the ocean and its resources.

– including review of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 2 of 1996, as amended by Acts No. 4 of 2000, 4 of 2004 and 22 of 2006.


10. Afachowo Kouete (Togo) The Problematique of the Extension of the Continental Shelf of Togo Study that will identify possible problems in extending Togo’s continental shelf. It will appreciate the current maritime boundaries delimitation between Togo, Benin, Ghana and Nigeria, and emphasize the need to call for a new delimitation based on equity.


11. Didina Coehlo (Strategic Fellow – Timor Leste) N/A Special research assignment on the territorial seas and contiguous zone under the UNCLOS


12. Ibrahim Imann (Strategic Fellow – Somalia)


N/A Special research assignment on maritime zones, including territorial waters, contiguous zone and international straits. In particular, I was tasked to review of the law of the sea, thematically with a series of topics, and provide perspectives and analysis with respect to my home country.


13. Samira Hussein (Strategic Fellow – Somalia) N/A None assigned yet


Finally, the Fellows participated in a two-part public speaking workshop from 21-22 April 2016.PicsArt_04-22-03.46.42

The first part consisted of a lecture by Mr. Francois Baillet on proper public speaking techniques. He emphasized the importance of knowing the three W’s: who (the audience is), what (the topic is and the message that is intended to be delivered), and why (you need to communicate the message). Using practical examples, he also discussed the eight traits of a good speaker: (1) presence, (2) empathy, (3) credibility, (4) sincerity, (5) enthusiasm, (6) dynamism, (7) authority, and (8) ability to listen and respond to questions. Mr. Baillet also 20160422_111730shared his recommendations for what components should be present in a good presentation (e.g. grabber, topic, purpose, background, body, visual aids, and conclusion)

The second part consisted of a practical exercise. Under the guidance of Ms. Valentina Germani, each of the Fellows was the given the opportunity to deliver a 5-minute presentation on issues concerning Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). After each presentation, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions on substance and to give constructive comments on the speaker’s presentation skills and manner of speech delivery.