“Makoto Seta is Associate Professor at Yokohama City University and teaches international law of the sea.
“He was in New Zealand recently and shared his research findings - on the rule of law at sea and the future of island states - with students and staff at Auckland University.
“Dr Seta said island countries were facing both survival challenges and increased opportunities.
"With the advancement of technology, for example, island states could gain increasing benefits from fisheries and mineral resources in their EEZs," he said.
"At the same time, however, they face serious challenges due to changes in the marine environment, particularly in the form of homeland loss due to the rising sea-level."
“Dr Seta said in order to minimise the impact of sea level rise and other challenges facing the Pacific, international co-operation was also essential.
"The EU (European Union) assisted in the new legislation of Pacific island states for the development of marine mineral resources," he said.
"Based on this legal framework, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are establishing a restoration for deep-sea mining."
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