Database on Arctic Doctoral and Post-doctoral Projects on Law


Database on Arctic Doctoral and Post-doctoral Projects on Law


ProjectThe case for a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Arctic – Balancing environmental stewardship against social equity in a changing climate

The forecast for a seasonally ice-free Arctic by 2035 has meant a seascape considered too remote and hostile for viable activity is poised to become the next international frontier for commercial, industrial and geopolitical venture. In response to the environmental danger presented by the growth in scope and intensity of human activities, the Arctic Ocean is subject to a dense network of multilateral and regional environmental agreements. Nevertheless, the jurisdictional and sectoral fragmentation of the current legal framework as well as the inconsistent recognition of Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ stakeholder interests, attests to the ongoing need of a more comprehensive and socially equitable form of environmental protection in the Arctic. 

This research will be well positioned as an early commentator following the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), to evaluate the potential of the BBNJ as a legal basis for a pan-Arctic MPA network. Moreover, the research will investigate the role of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the design and management of coastal and high seas MPAs. Ultimately resulting in a set of policy recommendations for a cross-jurisdictional network of Arctic MPAs which balance the interests of environmental stewardship and social equity.  

KeywordsMarine Protected Areas, MPAs, Arctic, BBNJ Agreement, Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, social equity, changing climate
RegionsArctic region
Start year2022
End year2025
ContactJade Jones
PositionPostgraduate Researcher and
OrganizationCardiff University
DepartmentLaw and Politics
CountryUnited Kingdom

Nippon foundation Ocean Nexus research network -


Added2.10.2022 18.03.35