My research responds to the SDG 14.A, which seeks to increase marine research and technology capacities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the SDG 14.C, which seeks to increase the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In more detail, the research investigates the State Practice of the SIDS in authorizing foreign-flagged research vessels in the waters under their national jurisdiction.
The rights and obligations of states related to the authorization process are comprehensively regulated under articles 245 to 255 of UNCLOS. Nonetheless, many legislative gaps and ambiguity remain, such as the definition of “marine scientific research”. In addition, changing circumstances particularly related to new technologies and new actors undertaking research at sea raise concerns over the limits of the legal framework.
An assessment of the State practice may assist to fill some of the gaps as well as to understand whether and how the legal framework has been accommodated to deal with changing circumstances.
Utmostly, an assessment of the practice of SIDS may provide information on best practices and needs, assisting in proposing ways forward to overcome practices such as colonial or parachute science.