Marine Biodiversity Agreement

IUCN supports this process. Working with various partners around the world, IUCN has prepared a series of resources and tools for negotiators and others involved in the discussions. The resources relate to the four main elements of the instrument: 1) marine genetic resources, including benefit sharing issues; 2) measures such as surface management instruments, including marine protected areas; 3) Environmental impact assessment; and 4) capacity building and the transfer of marine techniques. They also address issues such as general principles, definitions, liability and compensation, as well as institutional and financial rules. The Intergovernmental Conference on the Development of the First Treaty on the Conservation and Protection of Marine Diversity on the High Seas today concluded its general discussions before moving on to informal negotiations on the text, with stakeholders calling for a universal, inclusive text, anxious not to compromise existing frameworks. On 27 November 2019, the President of the Intergovernmental Conference on the Conservation of Marine Biodiversity in Areas Outside national jurisdiction (BBNJ) published a revision of the draft convention of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in areas outside national jurisdiction. The revised draft text will form the basis for the next round of negotiations to be held in March/April 2020. As the Chair indicates in the attached note, the emphasis is, as the Chair indicates in the attached note, on “streamlining the text” (p. 2), including removing some options that had not received support during the Intergovernmental Conference 3, reformulating other languages and adding a new language elsewhere. However, the structure of the revised text remains “broadly unchanged” (p. 2), including the length of the document. Finally, the President invites delegations to present another proposal between 2 January and 3 February, which will then be put together in a single document before the Intergovernmental Conference 4. It is important to note that IGC 4 is the last scheduled negotiating meeting and the initial objective was to reach an agreement by then.

However, given the progress of the negotiations at the end of intergovernmental conference 3, it seems highly unlikely, if not impossible, that this objective can be achieved. This impression is supported by a prompt review of the revised draft. Length should not be a factor, but even a quick reading of the text shows how little progress has been made, reflecting the outcome of the Intergovernmental Conference 3. In addition, the President has very carefully “streamlined” the options, constantly reminding that this is a state-led process, a reminder that inevitably raises significant restrictions on the president. However, a process as complex as these negotiations, with many entrenched positions on all key issues, requires strong and active supervision by the Chair and working group facilitators, which may have been largely lacking. We use some species directly, especially fish, and others may be indirectly influenced by human activity. There are already rules for the removal or use of deep-sea and deep-sea resources, including fishing, shipping and mining. However, these activities and new uses are expected to increase pressure on marine biodiversity, as well as the effects of climate change and ocean acidification. The UN countries have decided that additional rules are needed to deal with this pressure in a coordinated manner.

Project to collect criteria for the identification of discrete and interconnected areas of high value in all forms of biodiversity and nature protection (2011) 20: 3363 The Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB), 1992 (entry into force on 29 196 Contracting parties provide, in addition to the definition of biological diversity, that their contracting parties are responsible for ensuring that activities under their jurisdiction or control do not