The Ecosystem Approach and the BBNJ Negotiations
2 Nordic Journal of Environmental Law 2019
23 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2019 Last revised: 18 Feb 2020
Date Written: July 10, 2019
The ecosystem approach is an increasingly central concept for addressing the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Endorsed in the mid-1990s as the primary framework of action by the Convention of Biological Diversity, it has subsequently gained traction in a variety of fields and contexts, including ocean governance and fisheries management, thanks to its promise to overcome the traditionally fragmented management paradigm, and instead facilitate holistic ecosystem governance. Not surprisingly then, the ecosystem approach is one of the suggested guiding principles and/or approaches for a future international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). This article will assess the status of the debate on the ecosystem approach in the BBNJ process, to highlight and analyze risks and opportunities linked to the different modalities of its inclusion in a future ILBI.
Keywords: BBNJ, ecosystem approach, law of the sea, marine biodiversity, areas beyond national jurisdiction
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