Mepielan Ebulletin


  by Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos,
  Editor and Founding Director of MEPIELAN Centre,
  Panteion University of Athens, Greece
  Visiting Fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Approaching 2017, MEPIELAN E-Bulletin continues to operate as a promising academic arm of MEPIELAN Centre, providing a sourceful forum for law, governance and environmental sustainability while serving the promotion of strategic policies for sustainable development in the Mediterranean and of a deeper understanding of the complexity, inter-relationship, and, indeed, complementarity of the issues involved. The Bulletin, as a platform of scientific knowledge communication, has had, all these years, the most rewarding experience of bringing together academics, officers of international organizations, eminent experts, and promising young researchers, all those who, from various angles, contribute to the advancement of the normative language of environmental sustainability governance and the progressive knowledge-based construction of international common interest.

The reader of the Bulletin, making a tour through the archives of the Bulletin, is able to recall and reconstruct the – very often missing – vivid e-memory of the process of informed scientific and policy dialogue and, more perspectively, of the constant and discernible transformations of the generative context, both affecting the development of the understanding and governance of the issues related to aspects of environmental sustainability. The end-result of such detour is the realization that participatory and equitable governance, knowledge “engineering” international common interest, and unfailing regional and global solidarity may lie at the heart of understanding and implementing the globally heralded Sustainable Development Coals and the Agenda 2030.

MEPIELAN Centre, as an academic UNEP/MAP accredited partner and a newly elected member of the reformed 40-member Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) representing (together with the FEMISE and Med-SDSN) the Scientific Community Croup, is committed to pursue, within the scope of its capability and inter alia, two inter-related main strategies:

First, the promotion of the educational aspect of the Sustainability Mediterranean Governance, by organizing and carrying out, in cooperation with UNEP/MAP and other prestigious educational institutions and research centres, a postgraduate programme entitled “International Governance and Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean Region”, for the academic year 2017-2018, leading to a Master’s Degree. MEPIELAN Centre will, thus, directly contribute to Objective 6 (“Improving Governance in Support of Sustainable Development”) of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2015, and, more specifically, to the Strategic Direction 6.4 (“Promote Education and Research for Sustainable Development”) but also to the more general UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy 2016-2021.  

Secondly, the advancement of public trust approach to Sustainability Governance and mainstreaming it in the Barcelona Convention, by developing a cooperative project together with pre-eminent university centres and competent international bodies,  aiming at exploring the introduction of the Public Trust Approach into the Barcelona Convention system and beyond, in order to provide a solid legal and policy platform to effectively address sustainability aspects and substantially enhance their implementation. As a result, MEPIELAN Centre will also creatively support the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2015 to one of its most ambitious objectives (“Improving governance in support of sustainable development”) and, specifically, to the legally challenging “need to advance public trusteeship concepts in the existing instruments for better and more equitable governance and more effective and efficient public participation”, as is explicitly stated in the framework of this objective (UNEP (DEPI)/MED IG.22/28, Annex, 155).  And as I have concluded in my previous Advanced Editorial (Dancing with the Transposition of the Public Trust Approach in the Realm of Conventional Environmental Governance) “The proposed exploration of public trust approach may provide this innovative fertilizing perspective and generate the required legal insights into the sustainable governance of the Barcelona Convention system and beyond, responding to other complex environmental challenges.”.  

MEPIELAN E-Bulletin is a dynamic electronic newsletter of MEPIELAN Centre, Panteion University of Athens, Greece.  It features guest articles, insights articles, critical forum textual contributions and reflections, specially selected documents and cases, book reviews as well as news on thematic topics of direct interest of MEPIELAN Centre and on the cooperative activities and role of MEPIELAN Centre. Its content bridges theory and practice perspectives of international law, international environmental law, sustainable development, and international negotiating process, thus serving the primary goal of Centre: to develop an integrated, inter-disciplinary, context-related and sustainably effective governance approach creating, protecting and advancing international common interest in the fields above. Providing a knowledge- and information-sharing platform and a scholarly forum for the promotion of innovative ideas and enlightened critical views, the Bulletin aims at contributing to a broader scholarly debate on, and to a more stimulating learning process of, important issues of international common interest. The audience of the Bulletin includes academics, researchers, university students, international lawyers, officials and personnel of international organizations and institutional arrangements, heads and personnel of national authorities at all levels (national, regional and local), and members of the civil society at large.


by Jose Juste-Ruiz, Professor of International Law, University of Valencia, Spain
The international regime for disposal of wastes at sea is established, under the overarching provisions of UNCLOS, in the 1972 London Convention for the prevention of marine pollution by dumping of wastes and other matter and its 1996 Protocol. In the London Protocol “dumping” is defined as “any deliberate disposal into the sea” or else “any storage of wastes and other matter in the seabed and the subsoil thereof” (Art. 1.4). The legal regime set forth in the Protocol is based on two main rules: the prohibition of all dumping at sea (art. 4) except for a small list of wastes specified in Annex 1 (the so called “reverse listing system”) and the prohibition of export of wastes for dumping at sea (Art. 6). The rules of the London Protocol are applicable in all marine waters other than the internal waters of States, as well as in the seabed and the subsoil thereof (Art. 1,7).
by Meinhard Doelle, Professor of Law, Associate Dean, Research, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
The Paris Climate Agreement, negotiated in December 2015, came into force on November 4th. At the time of writing, more than 90 countries have ratified the agreement, and the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement is about the commence in Marrakech. The pace of ratifications and of its entry into force are unprecedented in international environmental law. Those who have not followed the climate negotiations closely may be forgiven for being surprised that the Paris Agreement is being hailed by many as a success. You will likely be concerned to learn that it accepts inadequate emission reduction targets and financial commitments from many Parties. These commitments collectively get the world to about a 3.5 degree increase in global average temperature, even if fully implemented.


by Maria Oproglidou, Lawyer, Researcher, MEPIELAN Centre, Panteion University of Athens, Greece
In September 2009, a Canadian investor, Peter Allard, instituted proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration against Barbados, for breaches of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Barbados for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments, signed on 29 May 1996 (Canada-Barbados BIT). In particular, the investor claimed that his US$35 million investment, an eco-tourism project in Barbados (Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary) underwent indirect expropriation, due to Barbados's failure to fulfill its environmental obligations, deriving from both domestic legislation as well as international environmental law. In 27 June 2016, the Tribunal issued the much-anticipated award, ultimately rejecting the claim of the investor. Even though, prima facie, this appears to be yet another investment dispute (albeit with environmental components), a closer look to the facts of the case provides an interesting insight.


Edited by Jorge E. Viñuales
The international community has long grappled with the issue of safeguarding the environment and encouraging sustainable development, often with little result. The 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was an emphatic attempt to address this issue, setting down 27 key principles for the international community to follow.
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Editorial Committee

Editor & Director
Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos

Editorial Assistant
Socrates Zachos

Editorial Research Team

Alexandros Kailis
Ourania Anastasiadou
Theano Maneta
Kyriaki Monezi
Maria Striga
Maria Oproglidou
Georgios Raftopoulos

Advisory Board

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