عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
The adverse effects of climate change could pose a unique threat to the territorial integrity of states as well as a new and serious challenge to the very notion of statehood. This threat is the danger of submergence of the whole territory of the low-lying small island states due to sea-level rise as one of the direct and adverse effects of climate change. According to some predictions, even before the total disappearance of the low-lying small island states, climate change may render those territories completely uninhabitable and result in the forced migration of the populations from their lands. Consequently, some experts believe that by the end of this century, a number of low-lying small island states such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives may be rendered totally uninhabitable. Considering the fact that territory and population are among the principal criteria for statehood in international law, the most fundamental question is the continued statehood of these entities. This article is an attempt to examine the scientific basis of climate change and its consequences and explain the challenges caused by sea-level rise to the international law on statehood. It also seeks to consider the legal status of the disappearing states and puts forward some solutions for preserving their international legal personality.