Sea Level Rise and International Law
  • Le 15 June 2021
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On June 15, 2021, the Center for Maritime and Oceanic Law is organizing a conference on the theme of Sea level rise and international law. Beyond the analysis of the legal implications of sea level rise, this conference is about understanding better to what extent existing international standards allow our societies to adapt (or not) to this phenomenon. It is also about understanding what actions can be carried out on this basis, at national, regional or international levels, in order to fight both causes and devastating effects of sea level rise, particularly through the empowerment of the various actors involved.

Conference postponed to June 15, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,originally scheduled for June 16, 2020.

According to the latest IPCC special report published on September 25, 2019 (devoted to the ocean and cryosphere in the context of climate change), the rise in sea level has greatly accelerated in recent decades, and could reach up to 1.10 meters by 2100, with dramatic repercussions for the inhabitants of low-lying coastal areas and small island states, but also for the international community as a whole. Many human beings, habitats, territories and classified sites are thus threatened by the phenomenon of rising sea levels. If this development has become an increasing concern to scientists, but also to the states most directly affected and their populations, it also raises a number of questions of international law, as evidenced by the work carried out on this topic since 2012 within the framework of the International Law Association or its inclusion, in 2018, in the long-term work program of the International Law Commission.

The objective of this conference is to to bring together specialists from the various fields of international law interested in this issue, whether it concerns the conditions of existence (or subsistence) of the State or issues of international security, the law of the sea and the delimitation of maritime areas, the protection of human rights or forced migration, the protection of cultural heritage or, more generally, the protection of the environment. Because a reflection on a subject posing such territorial, human, societal and environmental challenges necessarily relies, at the base, on scientific expertise, an oceanologist will also participate in this event in order to shed light on this problematic.

Publication of the conference proceedings in December 2021, in french:
"Sea level rise and international law: From adaptation to action", under the direction of Valérie Boré Eveno
Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 2022, 276 pages.
Mis à jour le 13 December 2022.