On December 6th, 2018, The Wicks Group (TWG) Partner and Vice President of International Services, Roncevert (Ronce) Almond, served as the opening speaker for the 2018 Congress on Ocean Policy held by the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF).
The Congress, held in Washington, D.C., invited a number of delegates across a multitude of industries, as well as public and private agencies to discuss critical and internationally recognized ocean policy issues. Represented organizations included U.S. Congressional members and committees, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, European Union, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pew Charitable Trusts, American Geosciences Institute, Clinton Climate Initiative, American Fisheries Society, Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, Ecological Society of America, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Meridian Institute.
Mr. Almond, in his presentation entitled “The United States and the UN Law of the Sea Convention: Adherence, Absence, and Anarchy,” provided a historical, institutional and legal explanation of the challenges and potential repercussions of America’s failure to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Citing constitutional legal disputes dating back to America’s founding to the recent shifts in U.S. policy regarding international agreements and the general decrease in treaty ratification, Mr. Almond offered insight into future barriers of ratification for UNCLOS. The presentation also discussed the potential costs to the United States in retaining a non-party status to UNCLOS, which include the erosion of United States’ global leadership and costs to U.S. interests in areas such as the Artic and South China Sea. Mr. Almond noted that these costs will extend to other shared domains such as space, where we are likely to see increased human activity in the near future.
Additional topics covered in the presentation include oversight of the deep sea bed, sustaining living resources, and the significance of UNCLOS ratification in the public, private, and global scale of US interests.
In addition to Mr. Almond, other speakers included: Scott Doney, Professor of Environment Change, University of Virginia; Donald Boesch, Professor of Marine Science, University of Maryland; Jason Gedamke, Dierctor, Ocean Accoustics Program, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Betsy Nicholson, North Regional Director, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Tommy Beaudreau, Partner, Latham & Watkins (former Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management); and Cindy Van Dover, Professor of Biological Oceanography, Duke University.
For more information about Mr. Almond’s presentation and related research, please contact Ronce at email@example.com or (202) 457-7790.