Shared Waters—shared Responsibility. Application of the Principles of Fairness for Burden Sharing in the Mediterranean

  • Areti D. Kontogianni
  • Michalis S. Skourtos
  • Andreas A. Papandreou


The paper addresses the issue of burden sharing within the context of the Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean. The initial premise is that the perceived fairness of burden sharing rules is an important factor in the success of multilateral environmental agreements. We review briefly the basic ideas behind the fairness and equity debate in global environmental affairs before we apply a number of widely accepted equity rules in the case of Mediterranean marine protection. We derive arithmetic examples to illustrate the application of the rules and compare them in terms of their political attractiveness, cost-effectiveness and practical feasibility. It is shown that the simple rule of egalitarian justice scores high on all aspects.


Fairness Equity Mediterranean Multilateral environmental agreements Burden sharing Common but differentiated responsibilities Barcelona Convention Management of marine resources 


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The authors would like to thank F. S. Civili and F. Abousamra, both at the Coordinating Unit of UNEP/MAP, Athens, for valuable comments. The research was partly funded by the Mediterranean Action Program of the United Nations Environment Program. Finally, the authors express gratitude for the very helpful and insightful comments made by three anonymous referees and the editor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Areti D. Kontogianni
    • 1
  • Michalis S. Skourtos
    • 2
  • Andreas A. Papandreou
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of AegeanMytiliniGreece
  2. 2.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of AegeanMytiliniGreece
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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