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Property Rights Issues and Emerging Ocean Regime in India

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sinha, Prabhas
Conference: Inequality and the Commons, the Third Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Washington, DC
Conf. Date: September 17-20, 1992
Date: 1992
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1048
Sector: Fisheries
Global Commons
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): oceans
water resources
property rights
Abstract: "The world ocean order bases itself on notions akin to reasonable ownership stewardship, regional justice and common heritage of mankind rather than on proprietorship. The allocation of rights has shifted from an essentially 'historical basis' to an 'end result basis,' preferring equitable distribution. Emergence of 'ocean law for the management of marine water resources in India's maritime zones is rather slow. Equality and development of the coastal communities are emphasized without being given an unambiguous preference. At the regional level, a strong presumption is established in favor of national interests, often ignoring the residual right of landlocked states like Nepal and Bhutan. Ad hoc crisis responses have so far replace any formulation of an integrated strategy to regulate the critically important coastal and marine ecosystems. "Options of adhering to a 'public trust doctrine' for greater community participation in managing ocean affairs requires not only impact assessment studies as a prerequisite, but also a critical analysis of public perception, values, attitudes, and practices towards oceans in the Indian context. A legislative base for making not only the complete understanding of prevailing multiple-use conflicts but also a comprehensive and realistic understanding of interactions by which the oceans are enjoyed. As key to managing the newly acquired ocean space and resources, India has dilimited the maritime boundaries with Sri Lanka, Maldives, Burma, Thailand and Indonesia, and is left with the task of finally negotiating such allocation issues with Pakistan and Bangladesh."

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