SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES AND INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLICY SUPPORT: CASE STUDY OF THE MV WAKASHIO INCIDENT
Manka, Samuel P.
The grounding of MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius on July 25, 2020, followed by the subsequent discharge of fuel into the water after 11 days, triggered a national emergency and prompted an international response effort. This study focuses on examining the influence of international law and policy on the outcome of the incident and analyzing the response of the Mauritian government. To comprehend the full scope of this environmental disaster, an evaluation of maritime law and its implications for Mauritius and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is essential. Through a comprehensive case study and literature review, this research assesses the oil spill incident and explores the extent to which international laws and policies influenced its outcome. By constructing a compelling narrative that contrasts the actions taken with the associated maritime law or policy, this study delves into the contextual framework surrounding the incident. Consequently, it becomes evident that the Government of Mauritius displayed inadequate training and management in their response, while the lack of specialized assistance for SIDS and similar nations is apparent. Consequently, there is a compelling need to consider the establishment of specialized teams capable of effectively supporting and managing similar events worldwide. The events in Mauritius serve as a poignant example of the limitations of current international law and policy in successfully preventing or minimizing the impact of oil spill events, particularly when they occur in Small Island Developing states. To address these challenges, recommendations include enhancing international collaboration and developing targeted support systems for SIDS. By strengthening international efforts, we can strive towards preventing and mitigating the devastating consequences of oil spills on vulnerable coastal regions.
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