The oceans are more than 70% of the Earth's surface, and yet they are full of human-produced detritus and chemicals. The impacts on the things living in the sea, and on the sea itself, as a regulator of the Earth's climate, are only beginning to be understood.
Water protection conventions
There are a number of international conventions for the protection of water resources.
- Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (ECE Water Convention), Helsinki, 1992.
- Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention), London, 1972.
- International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), London 1973 and 1978.
- International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, London 1954, 1962 and 1969.
- International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC), Brussels, 1969, 1976,1984 and 1992.
- International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage(FUND), Brussels, 1971 and 1992.
- International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS), London, 1996.
- International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), London, 1990.
- International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties Intervention Convention, Brussels, 1969.
- Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances OPRC-HNS Protocol, London, 2000.
- United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, LOS Convention, Montego Bay, 1982.
- Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Region of the Mediterranean Sea Barcelona Convention, Barcelona, 1976.