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Sustainable Governance of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in the Mediterranean: Revitalizing the Dormant Mediterranean Offshore Protocol

Thursday, 19 August 2010
by Evangelos Raftopoulos, Professor of International Law, Panteion University of Athens, Director, MEPIELAN Centre, Greece
Sustainable Governance of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in the Mediterranean: Revitalizing the Dormant Mediterranean Offshore Protocol
1. Background

The devastating environmental, economic and social effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling accident in the Gulf of Mexico brought to the surface the evidently inadequate regulatory regime of the powerful US to deal with the complexities and far-reaching consequences of this type of accident and the pitfalls of the present inadequate environmental governance of offshore activities conducted by dominant – and often elusive – oil companies. More importantly, it produced waves of systemic effects in Europe and threw new light on the existing and dangerously complacent situation in the Mediterranean, a regional semi-enclosed sea representing a meeting point between developed and developing world, with complex political relationships, widely differing internal systems, and special geographical, hydrographic, ecological and multicultural characteristics, which is particularly vulnerable to all sources of pollution. In fact, the disaster’s magnitude of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has most convincingly revealed the many dark sides in the present governance of the regimes of offshore activities for oil and gas development which remain complacent with continuous technological advances and unable to grasp and manage their inherent risks.

In Europe, the event was immediately placed under creative scrutiny. It was acknowledged that the risks associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation – a long existing but deficiently and incoherently treated problem at the European level – needed to be specifically addressed in an integrated and sustainable manner. The EU Commission alarmingly recognized the need to improve the safety culture of offshore drilling and to reinforce existing insufficient level of prevention through “thorough checks and controls” strengthened transparency and public scrutiny of the industry as well as of national regulators. It also put under review the celebrated Environmental Liability Directive (2004/35/EC) with a view to modify it, given its weaknesses (e.g. financial security of operators) and the need to be extended in order to include damage to marine waters as a result of oil pollution caused by offshore installations. Further, the EU Commission is conducting a "stress test" on oil drillings in EU waters in order to identify any gaps and weaknesses in the regulatory framework at EU level, while the extension of the mandate of the European Agency for Maritime Safety (EMSA) from vessels to oil platforms is under consideration [1]. Correspondingly, the OSPAR Convention, one of the few regional frameworks of cooperation for the protection of the marine and coastal environment containing a regime of offshore drilling [2], was rushed to make sure that the so-called “Bergen Statement 2010” to be adopted by the coming Ministerial Meeting of the OSPAR Commission in Bergen, Norway, (23-24 September 2010), deals, in a sufficient and effective manner, with the increasing safety risks connected with the offshore oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and beyond.

In the Mediterranean, the repercussions of the event may beneficially refuel the discussion on – and hopefully achieve progress in – a long stagnant situation. The 21 Mediterranean States[3] and the EU, have early enough dealt with the issue of environmental governance of offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation within the framework of the Barcelona Convention, a model and advanced conventional framework for the protection of the marine and coastal environment of the Mediterranean. The adoption of the so-called Offshore Protocol, in 1994, was not, however, blessed with the required minimum number of ratifications, that is six(6), for its entry into force. Even worse, the signed but unratified Offshore Protocol imperceptibly fell into oblivion. It was the 12th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (Monaco, 2001) where, for the last time, there was a recommendation to the Contracting Parties to ratify this Protocol, together with other unratified or amended but not as yet accepted Protocols [4]. At the following 13th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties (Catania, Italy, 2003) and ever since then, the Offshore Protocol was inexplicably withdrawn from the standard recommendation on the status of ratification of the Protocols. The governance of offshore activities in the Mediterranean was left to a patchwork of not specific and grossly inadequate national legislations as is clearly evidenced in the National Reports submitted by Contracting Parties regarding national legal and administrative measures taken on the matter [5].           

On the other hand, offshore oil installations are presently working in Libya, Egypt, Italy and Croatia and drilling has increased substantially. Importantly, Eastern Mediterranean and particularly the Levantine Basin are emerging as a new province for oil and gas in the next few years. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), an estimated 122 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas are in the Levant Basin Province, and that the province holds more natural gas resources than any region so far assessed in the United States [6].  

In Israel drilling companies announced the discovery of "extremely significant" natural gas reserves at an offshore drilling site in the Mediterranean about 60 miles off the coast of Haifa (the so-called Tamar field). Cyprus, to facilitate offshore exploration in eastern Mediterranean waters, signed Delimitation Agreements of the EEZ with Egypt (17 February 2003) and Lebanon (17 January 2007) and held its first licensing round for offshore gas and oil exploration in 2007 – against a backdrop of strong Turkish protests – and she now plans to launch a second offshore licensing round in 2011 while she is reportedly in contact with Israel for the delimitation of maritime borders. Lebanon passed a law in August 2010 authorizing exploration and drilling of offshore oil and gas fields, although maritime borders with Israel are not delimited, thus fuelling tensions with the latter.

Against this background, a critical reappraisal of the dormant Offshore Protocol and the search for an effective Mediterranean regime of sustainable governance of offshore activities for oil and gas development seems to be pertinent and acquires a reinforced significance.

2.  The Mediterranean Offshore Protocol: Unfolding the Story in Contemporary

The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil, signed on 14 October 1994 in Madrid, (the so-called Offshore Protocol) is one of the seven performative Protocols of the Barcelona Convention system [7], related to the implementation of the framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, 1976, known as the Barcelona Convention. The Offshore Protocol, signed by 11 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention [8], is ratified, or acceded to, by only 5 Contracting Parties [9] and it is not yet in force, still awaiting for the deposit of one more instrument of ratification  for its entry into force (a total of 6 ratifications are required according to Art.32(4) of this Protocol). It is to be noted that the text of the Offshore Protocol is the result of a long negotiation process among the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention. Being initially drafted by the International Juridical Organization for Environment and Development, an Italian NGO, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Mediterranean Action Plan and the Barcelona Convention, it was heavily negotiated and thoroughly discussed by four meetings of Ad Hoc Working Groups of Experts held from 1990 to 1994, before it reached its final stage, the Conference of Plenipotentiaries for its adoption and signature (13-14 October 1994). The negotiation process was featured by the very constructive role played by the representative of the Oil Industry International Exploration and Production  Forum (E & P Forum) for the understanding of complex technical issues involved in offshore activities for oil and gas development and their consequences, contributing to the facilitation of consensus on the final text by the negotiating Mediterranean States.     

The spatial scope of the governance architecture established by the Offshore Protocol regime applies to the Mediterranean Sea Area, including the continental shelf and the seabed and its subsoil. In fact, the Protocol covers the whole Mediterranean seabed: there is no point located to a distance exceeding the 200 nautical miles from the nearest land or island [10]. It applies to internal waters, extending in the case of watercourses up to the freshwater limits, while wetlands or coastal areas may also be included if the Parties decide so. This is of particular importance, since a great deal of offshore activities of oil and gas exploration and exploitation are currently carried out in this area, although there is a noticeable trend of drilling deeper. At the same time, the Protocol, taking into account the existing legal disputes concerning the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Mediterranean and the need, nevertheless, to promote an environmental governance regime for offshore activities in the area, contains a typical disclaimer clause: the Protocol does not prejudice the rights of any State concerning the delimitation of the continental shelf. The message here is clear. The environmental governance regime of the Protocol will be established and appropriately promoted in the framework of the Barcelona Convention system, irrespective of presently unsettled issues concerning the delimitation of the continental shelf [11].   

The functional scope of the governance architecture of the Protocol presents particular interest. It covers the full circle of activities concerning exploration and exploitation of resources in the Mediterranean: scientific activities, exploration activities (e.g. seismological activities, exploration drilling) and exploitation activities (installations establishment, development drilling, recovery/treatment/storage, transportation to shore). It also covers all types of installations (any fixed or floating structure, and any integral part thereof, engaged in offshore activities). And when it addresses its prime objective, the “operator”, it offers an important all-encompassing definition: the “operator” includes not only persons authorized to carry out activities in accordance with the Protocol (the license holder) or who carry out these activities (a sub-contractor), but also any person who does not hold an authorization but is de facto in control of activities.            

The sustainable management system established within the framework of the governance architecture of the Protocol requires special attention, although it reflects the predominant at that time “state-centric approach” and it lacks certain aspects of sustainable governance that are to be considered as indispensable by today’s standards and requirements. Nevertheless, it clearly sets up the first operable regional management system for the sustainable development of offshore activities in the Mediterranean. Thus, the Protocol establishes a “due diligence” obligation of the Parties: they are obliged to ensure that all necessary measures are taken so that offshore activities, within their jurisdiction, are in accordance with this Protocol and do not cause pollution. And this “due diligence” obligation is somewhat tailored to the particular capabilities of the Parties: they are obliged to ensure that the operator uses the best available techniques (BAT) which is “environmentally effective and economically appropriate” [12].  

Specifying the sustainable management system, the Protocol provides that all activities, including erection of installations on site, are subject to prior written authorization from the competent authority of a Party. Before granting the authorization, the authority must be satisfied that the installation has been constructed according to international standards and practice and that the operator has the technical competence and the financial capacity to carry out the activities. Authorization will be refused by an application of the precautionary principle: if there are indications that the proposed activities are likely to cause significant adverse effects on the environment that could not be avoided by compliance with specified requirements and technical conditions [13].      

The operators are required to have a contingency plan to combat accidental pollution, coordinated with the contingency plan of the Parties to the Emergency Protocol of the Barcelona Convention [14], to take safety measures with regard to the design, construction, placement, equipment, marking, operation and maintenance of installations [15], and to remove any installation which is abandoned or disused in accordance with certain stated conditions taking into account guidelines and standards adopted by the competent international organization, the IMO [16]. Special restrictions or conditions are provided for the granting of authorizations for activities in specially protected areas [17].      

The provision of the Protocol regarding the environmental management of harmful and noxious substances and materials used for, or resulting from, these activities has become distinctly outmoded. Negotiated and adopted before the initiation of the extensive revision process of the Barcelona Convention system, the Protocol here introduces the differentiating control system of black list and grey list, a typical pattern featuring the first phase of development of international environmental regimes (e.g. other Protocols of the Barcelona Convention [18] as well other international environmental regimes [19]). Thus, if harmful and noxious substances and materials are black-listed, their disposal is prohibited; if they are grey-listed, their disposal requires, in each case, a special permit; the disposal of all other harmful and noxious substances and materials requires a prior general permit [20]. This approach was abandoned at the current second phase of development of international environmental regimes, inaugurated after the Rio Declaration of 1992 and the integration of sustainable development in the governance of international environmental regimes. The differentiating control system of black list and grey list was replaced by an integrating management system which responded better to the new scientific evidence and is incorporated into the extensively amended versions of related Protocols to the Barcelona Convention system or other related instruments of international environmental regimes [21].  

Addressing the environmental management of oil and oily mixtures and drilling fluids and cuttings, the Protocol provides the application of common standards and specifying criteria for their disposal, flexibly specified in Annex V [22], although they need to be reconsidered in the light of the new scientific evidence and international practice. With respect to sewage and garbage from installations, the prohibition-exceptions scheme provided by the Protocol  [23] also needs to be re-evaluated. Addressing the issue of transboundary pollution, the Protocol establishes the obligation of the Parties to take the necessary measures to ensure that activities do not cause pollution beyond the limits of its jurisdiction as well as to follow a certain procedure in the event of a threat or occurrence of such pollution vis-?-vis the Parties to be affected (immediate notification, granting equal access to and treatment in administrative proceedings to persons of the affected States) [24].  

Finally, the Parties are obliged to take measures with respect to the thorniest and most demanding aspect of the sustainable management system of the Protocol: that of liability and compensation for damage caused by offshore activities. And given the period of the negotiation of the Protocol, Article 27, despite the preceding typical framework formulation of the obligation of the Parties to cooperate “in formulating and adopting appropriate rules and procedures” on this issue, it consequently contains, pending this development, certain interesting elements of a liability regime. Thus the Parties are obliged to take all necessary measures to ensure that: liability for damage caused by offshore activities is imposed on operators who are required to pay prompt and adequate compensation (strict liability); operators have and maintain insurance cover or other financial security in order to ensure compensation for damages caused by the activities covered by the Protocol (compulsory insurance).           

3.  Tying the Knots for Effective Sustainable Governance within the Offshore    
Protocol Regime

Viewed under a contemporary sustainable environmental governance perspective, the “dormant” Mediterranean Offshore Protocol looks pale, despite the significance of its long-negotiated regime and the rather not long lapse of time since its celebrated signature in Madrid in 1994.

In fact, the regime of the Offshore Protocol clearly reflects the state-centric approach to environmental governance that unfailingly features the first phase of the development of all conventional environmental regimes, regional and global. As a result, it does not contain any provision setting up the important framework of the participatory approach to offshore development consistently required under the current phase of sustainable environmental governance perspective. It does not envisage any informational and participatory pattern for the active involvement of all the relevant stakeholders (e.g. local communities, public entities concerned, offshore operators, representatives of fishing industry and tourism, NGOs, scientists, the public concerned) in decision-making procedures for the effective and efficient management of the complex issues involved and the building of trust. The paradigm of the participation models of relevant stakeholders developed in Shetland Islands in Scotland as well as in Alaska is challenging. Securing a multifarious consultation process regarding the assessment of the environmental, economic and social impact of the offshore activities, the improvements of infrastructures of the area, the establishment of a coastal zone management plan meeting the needs of the local community, or the finalization of the assessment process for the decommissioning of offshore installations, these participation models may well serve the necessary evolution of the Offshore Protocol regime towards sustainable environmental governance. In the more general picture, this evolution could be envisaged as being interconnected with the unique Aarhus Convention (UN ECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, 1998) which builds the framework for participatory environmental governance, thus enhancing their synergy.

On the issue of liability, the Offshore Protocol regime, despite the rather strong appeal of the advanced content of Article 27 on Liability and Compensation (strict liability and, especially, compulsory insurance) that was admittedly ahead of its time, remains, on the whole, deficient and requires reconstruction in the light of contemporary developments. No doubt, this issue is of utmost importance for the sustainable environmental governance of the Offshore Protocol regime. Oil spills arising from the activities of offshore installations can be disastrous and accidents can have devastating long-term effects on the environment and the economic life of the region. They may cause an ongoing crisis, like an epidemic. As a result, they may involve considerable costs (clean up costs, compensation to affected parties, restoration and reinstatement of the impaired environment, and, even, compensation by equivalent if the impaired environment cannot return to its previous condition). On the other hand, the case of unreported small and medium-sized oil spills – which are more common – arising from the normal operation of offshore installations and caused by accidental discharges of oil during terminal operations, should also be seriously considered in the development of a relevant liability and compensation regime. And the immense disparity of the power among countries facing these kind of issues vis-?-vis economically and technologically powerful oil companies, inevitably calls for the development of a regional regime for liability and compensation. So far, the international response is totally inadequate because it somehow serves this disparity. At the global level, the existing – and of utmost importance – IMO Conventions on liability for oil pollution damage are specifically designed for maritime traffic. The only international convention specifically dealing with liability for damage caused by offshore activities is the forgotten 1977 Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage from Exploration and Exploitation of Sea Bed Mineral Resources (CLEE Convention) is dead – it has never entered into force. The Offshore Pollution Liability Agreement (OPOL-1974)  [25] by which operating companies in Europe agree to accept strict and limited liability for pollution damage (the cost of remedial measures, up to a maximum of US $120 million per incident), is a voluntary liability and compensation private scheme of self-regulation and, as such, of limited scope and significance. OPOL Agreement, being simply a contract governed by the Laws of England and establishing an association of operators in Europe, applying to European waters and only to installations within the jurisdiction of designated states, and covering pollution damages from offshore exploration and production operations but not from abandoned wells or from removal of installations, proved to be a successful instrument exclusively within this context. But it can hardly match the persistent need for developing an international regime of liability and compensation for offshore activities which would effectively counterbalance the negotiating disparity of States vis-?-vis the powerful oil and gas companies. Of limited interest, though for different reasons, are also the recent Guidelines for the Determination of Liability and Compensation for Damage Resulting from Pollution of the Marine Environment in the Mediterranean Sea Area, 2008, adopted in the framework of the Barcelona Convention system [26]. Following a generic approach, these Guidelines also apply to seabed areas, thus encompassing offshore activities in a general non-binding Mediterranean liability and compensation framework for the Barcelona Convention system. Nevertheless, despite some advanced elements these Guidelines contain [27], they leave entirely open two issues of decisive importance for offshore activities: the establishment of a Mediterranean Trust Fund and the question of compulsory insurance of operators, both of which are connected to future –and uncertain – decisions of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention system [28].           

Finally, the Offshore Protocol regime needs to be re-evaluated in certain specific aspects and applications of its sustainable management system. Thus, in addition to those specific aspects already mentioned in the previous section, the sustainable management system needs to embrace in a more environmentally integral manner two aspects that mark the beginning and the end of the life cycle of offshore oil and gas development activities. The first refers to seismic surveys. Carried out at the exploration phase, seismic surveys noise, as a form of energy introduced into the marine environment, constitute “pollution” according to the definition of pollution contained in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS – Art. 1(1)(4)) and incorporated in the Barcelona Convention (Art. 2(a)). Despite technological improvements, seismic surveys noise have serious chronic and cumulative effects on marine mammals, while the risks associated with the consequences of their operation are often unknown and the paucity of knowledge of their long-term effects on the marine environment is worth considering. It is therefore necessary that, within the framework of the Protocol, specific preventing measures, including the obligation of a special Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and monitoring should be provided and, given the high level of uncertainty, the precautionary approach for the management of this issue should be properly developed. The fact that the response at the national level remains very limited, confined only to a few developed countries which have introduced varying legislation on the subject applicable within their territorial sea (Australia, Canada, Norway, United Kingdom, and United States), precisely underlines the need for a harmonized specific regional response within the framework of the Protocol, able to deal with the widely differing power patterns at the national level and to manage the present knowledge deficit.

The second aspect refers to the removal of installations. Given the catalytic importance of this issue, the removal of installations requires a more integrated management: the plans for removal of installations should be developed in consultation with the competent authorities and stakeholders (e.g. local communities, fishing groups and other interested parties) and post removal environmental monitoring should be part of the removal process as an important aspect for assessing the recovery of the production site.

Apart from these two aspects, new issues need to be added to the negotiating agenda for the revitalization of the Offshore Protocol. These include, for instance, emissions from flaring, and especially the flaring of gas from offshore installations, which need to be reduced and be associated with specific licenses or flaring permits whilst the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT) by the operator should be considered at an early stage in the development (in the EIA document). Of cardinal importance is the development of the interconnection between the Offshore Protocol and the recently adopted ICZM Protocol, the innovative seventh Protocol in the Barcelona Convention system, which establishes a common regional framework for the sustainable governance of the Mediterranean coastal zone and applies the ecosystem approach to coastal zone planning and management.  

An Epilogue

The time has come for reintroducing the governance of offshore activities for oil and gas development in the Mediterranean and the Offshore Protocol into the agenda of the Barcelona Convention system and the Mediterranean Action Plan. The 21 Mediterranean States and the EU parties to the Barcelona Convention, with the contributing support of all relevant stakeholders, should refocus on the sustainable governance of offshore activities in the Mediterranean. They should, at last, come forward, in the framework of the existing institutional mechanisms of the Convention, with refreshing ideas and constructive proposals for an updated and revised Mediterranean Offshore Protocol. The lesson from the BP accident is abundantly clear: the continuing – and dangerously presumptuous – silence regarding the future of the Offshore Protocol and the reliance, instead, on inadequate, sporadic and widely differing national regulatory systems, potentially places in joepardy the Mediterranean marine environment, the Mediterranean countries and the interests of the people of the region. At the same time, the inexplicable freezing of the Protocol signifies an important loophole in the very roots and the architecture of the Barcelona Convention system that may potentially shake its overall credibility. 


  1. See, G?nther OETTINGER, EU Commissioner for Energy, Oil Exploration and Extraction - Risks, Liability and Regulation, Speech at the European Parliament Plenary Session, Strasbourg, 7 July 2010, available at
  2. In four regions, the established regional environmental governance regimes have developed, through specific performative protocols or annexes, the environmental governance framework of certain aspects related to offshore drilling development: The OSPAR Convention, 1992, (North-East Atlantic), the Baltic Convention, 1992, the ROPME- Kuwait Convention, 1978, and the Barcelona Convention, 1976 (Mediterranean). Of particular interest are The Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines, 29 April 2009, developed by the Arctic Council, available at
  3. Seven Mediterranean States, namely Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Slovenia and Spain, are members of the EU.
  4. See UNEP-MAP: Report of the Twelfth Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution and its Protocols, Monaco, 14-17 November 2001, UNEP(DEC)/MED IG.13/8, Annex IV, Recommendations, I. I(A).(a).2.
  5. See UNEP-MAP, Meeting of MAP Focal Points: Summary of National Reports on the Implementation of the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, and its Related Protocols, 2002-2003, Athens (Greece), 21-24 September 2005, UNEP(DEC) /MED WG. 270/INF.5, Annex, Table 2.6, pp. 143-147.
  6. See USGS Newsroom: Natural Gas Potential Assessed in Eastern Mediterranean, 8/4/2010, available at
  7. The other six Protocols related to the Barcelona Convention system are: The Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft or Incineration at Sea (1976, amended 10 June 1995, amendment not yet  in force) (the Dumping Protocol); The Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea (adopted 25 January 2002, entered into force 17 March 2004) (the Prevention and Emergency Protocol), replacing the Emergency Protocol, 1976, in the relations between the parties to both Protocols; The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (1980, amended 7 March 1996, amendment entered into force 11 May 2008) (LBS Protocol); The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (adopted 10 June 1995, entered into force 12 December 1999) (the SPA and Biodiversity Protocol), replacing the SPA Protocol, 1982, in the relations between the parties to both Protocols; The Protocol on the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (adopted 1 October 1996, entered into force 28 December 2007) (the Hazardous Wastes Protocol); and The Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (adopted 21 January 2008, not yet in force) (the ICZM Protocol).
  8. These are: Croatia (1994), Cyprus (1994), Greece (1994), Israel (1994), Italy (1994), Malta (1994), Monaco (1994), Slovenia (1995), Spain (1994), Syria (1995) and Tunisia (1994).
  9. Tunisia (1998), Morocco (1999), Albania (2001), Cyprus (2001), and Libya (2005).
  10. As required by the rule regarding the outer edge of the continental shelf  provided in Article 76 of UNCLOS.
  11. Similar disclaimer clauses, dissociating the establishment of specific Protocols of the Barcelona Convention system from presently existing unsettled jurisdictional issues, are also included in the the SPA and Biodiversity Protocol (Art. 2(2-3)) and the ICZM Protocol (Art. 4(1-2)).
  12. See, Offshore Protocol Art. 3.
  13. Ibid., Art. 4.
  14. Ibid., Art. 16.
  15. Ibid., Art. 15.
  16. Ibid., Art. 20. See, also, IMO Resolution A.672(16) Guidelines and Standards for the Removal of Offshore Installations and Structures on the Continental Shelf and in the Exclusive EconomicZone, adopted on 19 October 1989.
  17. Ibid., Art. 21.
  18. E.g. the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft, 1976, Arts. 4 and 5; The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution from Land-based Sources, 1980, Arts. 5 and 6.
  19. E.g. Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters, 1972, (London Dumping Convention), Art. IV.
  20. Offshore Protocol Art. 9 (4)(5)(6) and Annexes I &II.
  21. E.g.  the Dumping Protocol, supra n.1, Arts. 4 and 5; the LBS Protocol, supra n.1, Arts. 5 and 6. The 1996 London Protocol to the London Dumping Convention, supra n. 12, provides that all dumping is prohibited, except for possibly acceptable wastes on the so-called "reverse list" (Art. 4). Aiming to create a more modern and comprehensive waste management system for the seas, the London Protocol (in force in 2006) modernizes and it will eventually replace the London Dumping Convention.
  22. See, Offshore Protocol Art. 10.
  23. Ibid., Arts. 11 and 12.
  24. Ibid., Art. 26.
  25. See available at
  26. MAP: 15th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols, Decision IG 17/4, pp. 133-140, UNEP(DEPI)/MED IG.17/10, 18 January 2008, UNEP/MAP, Athens 2008.
  27. See e.g. Guideline D “Damage”, Ibid., p.136.
  28. See Guidelines K and L, Ibid., p.138.

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