331 Self-Government and Natural Resources By Gunnar G. Schram* One of the major concerns of emerging states and self-governing territories in the last decades has been to gain control and jurisdiction over their landbased natural resources, the continental shelf and adjacent waters. In the field of the law of the sea fundamental changes have taken place in a comparatively short span of time which have radically altered age-old con- cepts and rules of customary international law. At the end of the Second World War the recognized jurisdiction of states over ocean resources was limited to the territorial-waters limit of three or four miles. Beyond that demarcation point was the res communis area where all nations had equal rights in the ex- ploitation of marine resources. Continental shelf jurisdiction was not yet recog- nized nor had any international rules been adopted which afforded environ- mental protection for natural resources beyond the narrowly limited area of na- tional jurisdiction. The decade between 1970 and 1980 was the scene of rapid and drastic altera- tions in the traditional framework of the entire body of ocean law. There were multiple reasons behind these developments but it is no exaggeration to say that
Nordic Journal of International Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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