Traditionally, the management of marine areas under coastal state jurisdiction has been based
on management of territorial seas by what is described as 'sectoral planning'. This approach is
characterised by fragmentation oflegal and administrative responsibilities and actions between
jurisdictions and spheres of government, and within and between agencies.
Until the mid twentieth century the internationally accepted marine jurisdiction of nations
was the Territorial Sea extending three nautical miles from low water around their coasts and
islands. This provided the basis for regulation of the most heavily used and affected coastal
waters. Consequently the tactical issues of management of the land-sea interface are largely
matters of national jurisdiction. The expected effects of climate change and rising sea levels,
particularly for low-lying island states, have become a matter of international concern, and
resulted in international and bilateral programs to assist nations whose existence is threatened
by projected sea-level rise.
By the mid twentieth century, before the implications of climate change and expected sealevel
rise were widely appreciated, new technologies were confronting the limitations of the
three nautical mile territorial sea. The United Nations established a process to address the
issues arising from the capacity, potential benefits and impacts of new uses of marine space
and resources. This led to a protracted series of negotiations that started in 1958 and resulted,
in 1994, in the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC).