JEAIL > Volume 13(1); 2020 > Regional Focus
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2020

Sea-Level Rise and the Law of the Sea in the Western Pacific Region

Nguyen Hong Thao
69 Chua Lang Str. Hanoi, Vietnam.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Sea-level rise (SLR) is considered one of the most serious consequences of climate change. The risk of SLR compels legal consideration of this phenomenon related to many interrelated domains including the Law of the Sea. The Western Pacific region contains the most low-lying coastal countries and small island States seriously affected by SLR in the world. This research has been carried out as a contribution paper on the State practice in the Western Pacific region to the topic of “Sea-level rise in relation to international law” conducted by the Study Group of the United Nations International Law Commission in the period of 2020-2021. It aims to summarize the consequences of SLR for the Western Pacific States and outline their legal positions in relation to the sea-level rise. It also discusses specific issues, challenges and opportunities facing the Western Pacific States in supporting the maintenance of maritime baselines and limits notwithstanding physical changes caused by SLR.

Keywords : Sea Level Rise, Law of the Sea, Western Pacific, Baseline Limit, Low-lying Coastal Countries, Small Island States, UNCLOS

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