Biodiversity in High Seas Areas: An Integrated Legal Approach
21:9 ASIL Insights (2017)
Posted: 3 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 1, 2017
In July 2017, a Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) of United Nations member states agreed to take the next step toward negotiating an international instrument to govern the marine biodiversity of the high seas. This was an important milestone in a process with roots in sustainable development and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the landmark treaty frequently described as “the constitution for the oceans.” The PrepCom will send a report and recommendations to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for consideration in Fall 2017 for a new implementing agreement to UNCLOS to address the living marine environment in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. This Insight offers an overview of the process leading to such negotiations. It then reviews the issues refined by the PrepCom for consideration by an intergovernmental conference on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Keywords: Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, biodiversity, BBNJ, UN Treaties
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