Un mar sin ley

SANTIAGO – El imperio de la ley es casi inexistente, sin gobernanza ni vigilancia. Las actividades económicas ilegales, no reguladas ni fiscalizadas, son algo común. Lo poderosos se apropian de recursos no renovables a expensas de los que carecen de poder. La degradación medioambiental va en aumento.

Puede parecer la descripción de un Estado fallido, un país sumido en la pobreza y asediado por guerras civiles o una distopia novelesca, pero no es nada de eso. La vasta región (el 45 por ciento de la superficie total de la Tierra) prácticamente sin gobernanza ni imperio de la ley es el alta mar, las casi dos terceras partes de los océanos mundiales que quedan fuera de la jurisdicción de país alguno.

¿Cómo es posible? Al fin y al cabo, existe la Convención las Naciones Unidas sobre el Derecho del Mar, jurídicamente vinculante y ratificada por 166 Estados y la Unión Europea. Cuando se negoció dicha Convención, el alta mar estaba protegida porque era inaccesible, pero los avances tecnológicos han permitido que la explotación de recursos se extienda más y lejos y zonas más profundas que nunca. Hoy los barcos pesqueros pueden faenar en todos los océanos y las perforaciones en alta mar proporcionan gran parte de nuestro petróleo y gas. La Convención no ha ido a la par con esa evolución.

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