June 26, 2018

Stakeholders Discuss High Seas Governance before September BBNJ Talks

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Lynn Wagner

21 June 2018: Participants at a conference titled, ‘The High Seas, What’s at Stake?’ addressed the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). They also addressed expectations for the negotiations that will begin in September 2018 on an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ.

At the event, Peter Thomson, Special Envoy for the Ocean of the UN Secretary-General, underscored the importance of showing the same political resolve for BBNJ that was reflected in the Paris Agreement on climate change. At the conclusion of the one-day meeting, speakers highlighted that the BBJN negotiations represent the “first time governments will gather in thirty years to address high seas management and marine biodiversity in high seas ecosystems,” and emphasized the need to address the current lack of measures for sustainable use in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The event took place at the Maison des Océans, Oceanographic Institute in Paris, France, on 21 June 2018. The High Seas Alliance convened the event, which was organized jointly by the Albert I Prince of Monaco Foundation, the Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Tara Foundation, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and Nausicaa, with support from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Varda Group managed the event, which brought together 250 participants representing governments, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and civil society.