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Malta’s climate action ambassador calls for single ocean science body

Prof. Simone Borg (centre) with the IMLI class of 2017-2018.

Prof. Simone Borg (centre) with the IMLI class of 2017-2018.

Prof. Simone Borg, Malta’s Ambassador on Climate Action recently called for the setting up of a single scientific body for ocean science, similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate science.

She said “it is crucial for international law-making to have the requisite structure that facilitates an integrated approach to circumvent fragmentation”, and that in this regard it would be useful for a holistic law-making to have the support of such a body.

Prof. Borg made these remarks while delivering a recent lecture on climate change, the ocean and international law entitled ‘Regulating climate change and its impacts on ocean life: bridging the gap between science and the law’ to students at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

Prof. Borg, who is also head of the University of Malta’s Department of Environmental and Resources Law, emphasised that in order for law to be responsive to current pressing environmental issues such as climate change, there must be an integrated approach when formulating such law based on sound and independent scientific research. An integrated approach requires the streamlining of the effects of climate change upon the ocean to enable comprehensive law-making exercise in this complex relationship between climate and the ocean.

Prof. Borg said that international law is dynamic enough to act as an appropriate tool to ensure climate and ocean governance in a manner that is responsive to the current issues surrounding the environmental concerns and the socio-economic development of all States, with the valuable involvement of non-State actors.

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