Conservation of Marine Living Resources in the Polar Regions: Science, Politics and Law

25-26 March 2017, Wuhan University, China

Call for Papers

The Collaborative Innovation Centre for Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights (CICTSMR), the Research Institute of Environmental Law (RIEL), Wuhan University, China and the School of Law, University of New England, Australia are pleased to announce the call for papers for the “Conservation of Marine Living Resources in the Polar Regions: Science, Politics and Law” Conference.


The Polar Regions are ‘Final Frontiers’ (Freestone 2015) for human beings. While the world’s ocean is facing extreme pressure from anthropogenic activities, the Polar Regions are still relatively pristine. Nevertheless, marine ecosystems in the Polar Regions are experiencing significant changes. There is an urgent need for an effective governance framework for marine living resources in the Polar Region to avoid a ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ (Hardin 1968). On the other hand, there is hope that a well-developed governance structure in the Polar Regions could provide lessons for sustainable management of marine living resources in other parts of the world.

Climate change and the need for the conservation of marine biodiversity have brought much attention to the Polar Regions. At the international level, the United Nations General Assembly is working on the development of an international legally-binding instrument under the Law of the Sea Convention for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. At the same time, discussions and debates concerning the establishment of marine protected areas in Antarctica have been going on for years within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). In the Arctic, two Meetings on High Sea Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean were held in Washington D.C, United States. China, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea were all invited to engage within a broader process toward the prevention of unregulated commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean.

Against this backdrop, the Conference would bring together scholars from relevant disciplines such as international law, international relations, political science and marine biology as well as NGOs, and representatives from governments and international organizations to discuss how to achieve effective conservation of marine living resources in the Polar Regions at the national, regional and international level. Interactions between science, politics and law are particularly examined. The Conference also provides a unique opportunity for international scholars to discuss China’s role in the Polar Regions with their Chinese peers.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be emailed to Dr Nengye Liu ( by 15 September 2016. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an international panel of reviewers. Selected speakers will be notified by 15 November 2016. It is anticipated that an edited book of papers or a special issue of journal articles from the Conference would be published in 2018.

Confirmed Speakers

Apart from Dr Nengye Liu and Professor Dr Tianbao Qin, who will be leading academic discussions, a number of speakers have confirmed their availability to speak at the Conference. Confirmed speakers include:

Professor Tore Henriksen, Director, K.G.Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, University of Tromsø/the Arctic University of Norway

Professor Benjamin Richardson, Professor of Environmental Law, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies/Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania

Professor David VanderZwaag, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Ocean Law and Governance, Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, University of Dalhousie

Dr Keith Reid, Science Manager, Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

Dr Alexander Shestakov, Director, Global Arctic Programme, WWF

Dr Tony Press, Former Director, Australian Antarctic Division / Former CEO, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre

Dr Yoshinobu Takei, Legal Officer, United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (tbc)