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Home : ITU-T Home : ITU-T and Climate Change
 Submarine Cables for Ocean/Climate Monitoring and Disaster Warning: Science, Engineering, Business and Law
 Rome, Italy, 8-9 September 2011


Mr. Douglas R. Burnett, Lawyer, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (US) LLP and Legal Advisor of ICPC

Douglas Burnett’s practice focuses on maritime, energy and telecommunications industries, and litigation and arbitration. His clients include major telecommunications companies with international cables; major energy, logistics and shipping companies with disputes involving transportation, commodity contracts and admiralty claims involving petroleum products, LNG and LPG, deep water ports and ocean terminals. He has successfully arbitrated and mediated cases before the International Chamber of Commerce, American Arbitration Association, Society of Maritime Arbitrators and North American Export Grain Association. Douglas has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for his maritime practice and is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell.

As adviser to the International Cable Protection Committee, which represents nearly 128 companies from 60 countries that own or operate the global submarine telecommunications cable networks, he counsels members on their rights and responsibilities under international law, associated treaties and national legislation.

Douglas was a panelist on the Submarine Cables: Critical Infrastructure discussion at the 34th annual Center for Oceans Law & Policy (COLP) conference in Washington DC on May 20 and 21, 2010. The conference, “United States Interests in Prompt Adherence to the Law of the Sea Convention,” includes many current and former US policy makers discussing a range of topics related to the maritime industry including national security and energy.

In 2007 he provided expert testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the ratification of the 1984 Agreement regarding Part XI of the Convention. Douglas was a guest lecturer at the Convention at the Rhodes Academy of Ocean Law and Policy for the 2006 and 2007 sessions.

Douglas is a member of several professional organizations including The Maritime Law Association of the United States, where he currently serves as chair of the Committee on International Law of the Sea, a position he also held from 1996 to 2000; New York County Lawyers Association, where he chaired its Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee from 2003 to 2007; Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Maritimo; and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the IEEE and Marine Technology Society.

Douglas served in the Brazilian Navy as an exchange officer and an operations officer with the Military Sealift Command of the US Navy. He also served as commanding officer of several units involving maritime logistics.
Mr. Michael Costin, Director of International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC)

Michael has been involved with the Executive Committee of the International Cable Protection Committee since 2005, where he is presently Chair of the ICPC Media Working Group. With over 40 years experience in telecommunications, Michael has been involved with international submarine cables since 1994, holding various planning, development and management roles with Telstra and its REACH joint venture company. He has been involved with several major Asia-Pacific cable projects, including the conceptualisation, development and implementation of the Asia America Gateway cable.
Mr. Geoffroy De Dinechin, Vice President Operations, FT Marine, France Telecom

Background : from the Merchant Navy, with a master certificate.

Last 15 years in installation and maintenance of submarine cables.

Present position : Vice President Operations in FT Marine.
Dr. Reto Dürler, Head of Swiss Maritime Navigation Office (SMNO), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDA)

Born in Basel and educated at the Universities of Basel and Geneva, Reto Dürler studied Law, Contemporary History and Languages. In 1988 Reto Dürler passed the federal examination to the diplomatic service of his country. Subsequently he served in Pretoria/South Africa, Bonn/Germany and in various functions at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bern. Between 2000 and 2002 he was Head of the Division of International Affairs in the Federal Ministry of Health of Switzerland.

Dr. Reto Dürler has been the Head of the Swiss Maritime Navigation Office since 2005. In 2009 the Swiss Government appointed him Ambassador and Head of Delegation to the Central Commission of the Navigation on the Rhine which is the oldest international organization in Europe based on the so called Mannheim Convention which came into force in 1868. The Commission has its seat in Strasbourg/France. It stipulates the free navigation on the Rhine river for all its members (Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium).

The commercial maritime fleet of Switzerland currently consists of 38 ships representing more than 1 mio dwt); it ranks 66 out of 169 IMO States. The fleet was founded in 1941 in the wake of World War II in order to secure the country's economic supplies. The vessels have an average age of five years and are engaged in tramp shipping.
Mr. Paolo Favali, Research Director, Head of the Marine Unit “RIDGE”, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Italy

Research Director at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), the main Public Research Institution in Italy for Earth Sciences and Hazards. He has about 30 years of experience with main fields of interest in Natural Hazards (mainly Seismic), Seismotectonics, Geodynamics, Applied Geophysics and Environmental Sciences. He cooperates in research and technological projects with many Italian/International Universities, Scientific Institutions and Industries.

Co-ordinator of the many European and Italian projects for the development and scientific use of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories and networks, and related infrastructures. Head from 2001 of the Marine Unit of INGV, RIDGE Unit (GEomarine InterDisciplinary Researches) which was and is involved in many national and international projects, mostly related to the same scientific topics.

Presently he is Co-ordinator of the Preparatory Phase of the infrastructure EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory,, a Research Infrastructure of the ESFRI Roadmap (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures,, is the European network of fixed seafloor and water column observatories constituting a distributed infrastructure for long-term monitoring of environmental processes, including geo-hazards.

He has been teaching “Physics of Solid Earth” and “Earth Physics” in Italian Universities since 1994. Tutor of many students during their degree and PhD theses.

Since 2000, in the frame of the 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, he acts as Expert Evaluator of projects.

He published more than 100 papers on International and Italian Journals, and Proceedings.

Mr. Andres Figoli, Telefónica International Wholesale Services

Andrés works as Senior Legal Counsel in the Legal Affairs Head Office of “Telefónica International Wholesale Services” (Montevideo - Uruguay) from the 8th March 2002 to the present date. The legal affairs head office covers the entire legal field related to corporate business, including regulatory and corporate governance issues, maintaining statutory books and record of all affiliates in America, Asia, and Europe, and contract drafting and negotiations regarding wholesale telecommunication services (VSAT, Internet Transit, VPN, Capacity IRU, MMS Relay, etc.), alliances, submarine cable tendering projects and maintenance activities, etc. He is a lecturer for cable submarines in many organizations, and he is responsible in Telefónica for a plan to improve the legal framework in Latin America to protect these critical infrastructures.

Also he is an Assistant Professor of Commercial Law at Faculty of Law, Republic University (Uruguay), from April 2004 to October 2004, and April 2006 to the present date.


Andrés started working in Guyer & Regules Law Firm (Montevideo) through a remunerated internship obtained by competitive examination. It was performed through a forward contract from April 2000 to February 2001, working in the Litigation Department, and from February to December 2001, in the Corporate & Banking Department. Then, he joined Telefónica, his current position.


Attorney at Law and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Republic University (Uruguay), February 2002.
LL.M. (Master of Laws), Faculty of Law, Northwestern University (Chicago, USA), April 2010.
Mr. Paul Holthus, Executive Director, World Ocean Council (WOC)

Paul is the founding Executive Director of the World Ocean Council, the international business leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. The WOC brings together oil/gas, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewables and other ocean industries – creating an unprecedented ocean business community and private sector leadership in addressing shared marine sustainability challenges. Paul has held senior positions with the UN Environment Program and international environment organizations, including serving as Deputy Director for the Global Marine Program of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). Since 1998, Paul has worked primarily with the private sector to develop practical solutions to sustainable development of the marine environment. He has worked in over 30 countries with companies, communities, industry associations, UN agencies, international NGOs, and foundations. Paul is a graduate of the University of California and the University of Hawaii, with advanced degrees in marine resource management and international business.

Mr. Vladimír Jareš, Senior Legal Officer, UN Office of Law and Sea (DOALOS)

Mr. Vladimir Jares is Senior Legal Officer with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. He has been a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat since December 1992.

He is deals with a number of issues concerning the law of the sea, in particular maritime spaces, maritime boundary delimitation as well as certain depositary functions of the Secretary-General under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He has been a member of the team which provides services to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf since the establishment of the Commission. Currently he is the Deputy-Secretary of that body. He is also involved in capacity-building activities of the Division.

In his first years at the United Nations, he dealt with fisheries issues in the context of the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. He has been involved in the preparation of a number of publications issued by the Division, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea with Index (1997 edition), International fisheries instruments with Index, Handbook on the Delimitation of Maritime boundaries, and the Law of the Sea Bulletin.

Prior to his career of an international civil servant, he was Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Czechoslovakia to the United Nations in New York. He had also served for two years as Special Assistant to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia, after having started his career as a Legal Officer in the International Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia.

He has a master’s degree in international law from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), 1985, and a master’s degree in law from Charles University in Prague (Czechoslovakia), 1986.
Mr. David Meldrum, Consultant, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

David Meldrum studied physics and mathematics at St Andrews and Cambridge, subsequently becoming physicist in charge of the ice-penetrating radar programme at the Scott Polar Research Institute, and a physics tutor at Churchill College, Cambridge. He moved back to Scotland in 1978 to join the marine physics group at the Scottish Association for Marine Science at Dunstaffnage, and in 1989 became head of the technology development section. Two years were spent on secondment to CLS Argos in Toulouse, part of the French Space Agency (CNES), as technical co-ordinator of the IOC/WMO Data Buoy Co-operation Panel, a group of which he became chair from 2004 until 2009. He has recently been elected as vice chair of the IOC/WMO JCOMM Observations Programme Area, with special responsibility for the polar regions, and is currently based in Paris at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. Current research interests include satellite communication and positioning systems, autonomous seabed landers and data buoys, and the development of smart sensors and intelligent instruments. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers and reports in glaciology, oceanography, satellite communications and technology development.

Mr. Peter Phibbs, Chief Engineer, NEPTUNE Canada

An engineer with construction in the marine environment, Peter has a wide range of experience in managing the implementation of complex deepwater projects.

After completing his B.Sc. in Engineering Science from the University of Durham, UK, he practiced engineering as a designer of marine structures in the UK, the Middle East and then in Vancouver, British Columbia. He became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1978, and a member of the Professional Engineers of British Columbia in 1981. In 1986 he began specializing in underwater construction, managing construction and maintenance projects at variety of sites in North America and around the world.

In 1997 Peter’s company, Mallin Consultants, was hired to manage the implementation of a submarine telecommunications system running between Vancouver, BC, Victoria, BC and Seattle, WA. That project led to Peter becoming the General Manager of the Marine Group, first at Ledcor, then at Worldwide Fibre, and finally at 360networks. As General Manager, Peter was responsible for management of the contracting and implementation of a variety of submarine telecommunications systems, including the Hibernia transatlantic system and the Globenet system from New York to Rio de Janeiro.

After the collapse of the telecom industry in 2001, Peter became project manager for the installation of the core infrastructure of the NEPTUNE Canada cabled ocean observatory, from the concept stage in 2002 through acceptance in 2009. Mallin Consultants provides advice to owners on a variety of subsea cable projects, from relatively small special purpose systems to trans-oceanic cables.

Mr. Jean-François Rolin, European Sea Observatory Network of Excellence (ESONET)

Jean-François Rolin, 58 years old, is a design engineer in Ifremer (France). He was the head of the Department for Technology of Instrumental Systems and now responsible of subsea observatories and new technologies for environment monitoring in the enlarged Department unit “Technological Reseach and Development”.

He is graduate from CESTI engineer school (1976). After an experience in high speed train design and on the structural assessment of offshore platform in a classification society in France and Norway, he joined Ifremer as a head of the mechanical design team. He participated in the development of tens of profiling floats, landers or benthic stations. He co-ordinates the design of monitoring systems for coastal environment and deep sea.

He is an expert for the French ANR program in Ecotechnology (Precodd and Ecotech). He has performed several studies on reliability of deep sea systems and coordinated a national standard on quality tests of oceanographic instruments. Among many participations to EU funded research projects, he was the coordinator of the EC project ASSEM and deputy to the coordinator of ESONET Network of Excellence.

Mr. Reinhard Scholl, Deputy to the Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (ITU) and Chairman of the Workshop

Reinhard Scholl is Deputy to the Director of the ITU-T Secretariat (TSB) since September 2002. Previously he has been with Siemens in Munich, Germany and with ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). He received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois, USA.
Dr. Anastasia Strati, Expert for the Law of the Sea, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece

Dr Anastasia Strati is a Law of the Sea Expert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece. She was formely a Lecturer in International Law at the Faculty of Law, Democritus University of Thrace and, prior to that, a Research Officer at the Hellenic Center for European Studies (EKEM) and at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL). During her employment at BIICL, she was member of the Research Team, which produced a Model Agreement for Joint Development of Offshore Oil and Gas with alternative clauses, taking into account commercial requirements of participating oil companies on matters such as governing law and title (“Leverhulme Research Project”). She has also been a UNESCO Consultant during the negotiations for the drafting of the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001).

Dr Strati has publised extensively on the law of the sea, including the monograph The Protection of the Underwater Culrutal Heritage: An Emerging Objective of the Contemporary Law of the Sea (Martinus Nihfhoff Publishers, 1995); Draft Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. A Commentary prepared for UNESCO, CLT-99/WS/8, April 1999; Joint Development of Offshore Oil and Gas: A Model Agreement for States for Joint Development with Explanatory Commentary (co-author) (BIICL, 1989); Law of the Sea (co-author) (Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, 2000, 2nd ed.); Unresolved issues and New Challenges to the Law of the Sea: Time before and time after (co-editor) (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006).

She has been a Member of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on Coastal Jurisdiction relating to Marine Pollution; the Cultural Heritage Law Committee and is currently Secretary of the ILA Hellenic Branch.

Her duties as Expert Counselor at the Greek MFA cover the whole spectrum of the law of the sea, such as navigational rights, marine scientific research, fisheries, environmental issues, protection of underwater cultural heritage and delimitation of maritime zones with neighbouring countries, including the negotiation of the bilateral delimitation agreement between Greece and Albania which was signed on 27th April 2009. She is also following deliberations at the UN (General Assembly, Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group on Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction), UNESCO (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Advisory Body of Experts on the Law of the Sea/ABE-LOS, Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the North-East Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System/ICG-NEAMTWS), International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the European Union, in particular the Working Group on the Law of the Sea (COMAR).

Finally, she is co-ordinator of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Issuing Permits for Marine Scientific Research Projects and member of the recently established Committee of the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change for the support, evaluation and promotion of non-exclusive seismic surveys offshore Greece.

Mr. John You, University of Sydney – “Using Submarine Communications Networks to Monitor the Climate – an Overview”

John Yuzhu You is a senior scientist in climatology, physical oceanography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoceanography, climate change monitoring and climate modelling. He got his Ph.D on physical oceanography in 1991 from Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, University of Sydney. He did his postdoctor in MIT, USA and Flinders University in 1992 and 1993-94. He worked as a visiting professor and fellow in many top oceanographic institutions around the world including the USA, France, Germany, Japan, China, Korea, South Africa and Taiwan. He has published 3 books and 80 scientific papers.

He is first in the world presenting an idea to integrate sensors into submarine cable repeater housing to form a real-time global climate change monitoring network that also includes tsunami warning capacity and provides for multipurpose connections. Such a network has the capacity to directly monitor the change of climate variables such as water temperature, salinity, pressure and greenhouse gases on the ocean floor. He also suggested to facilitate the usage of retired and in-service submarine cables for the present climate monitoring. His new ideas are published in Nature (5 August 2010), ITU-T TechWatch Report (Nov. 2010) and his several other recent papers.


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