Four Treaties in One: The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement

31 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2024

See all articles by Daniel Bodansky

Daniel Bodansky

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: February 26, 2024

Abstract

The Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction is the most important ocean agreement to be adopted in more than a quarter century and complements the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which addresses biodiversity found within national jurisdiction. In essence, it constitutes four treaties in one, all addressing marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), but each with its own objectives, principles, obligations and – in some cases – institutions: a treaty on marine genetic resources (MGRs), including fair and equitable benefit-sharing; a treaty on the establishment of area-based management tools (ABMT), including marine protection areas (MPAs); a treaty on environmental impact assessment (EIA); and a treaty on capacity building and the transfer of marine technology (CBTMT). The BBNJ Agreement has roots in both the law of the sea and international environmental law. It was adopted as the third implementing agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). As such, it fleshes out the Convention’s barebones provisions on environmental impact assessment, capacity building, and technology transfer; replicates the Convention’s dispute resolution system; and draws on the Convention’s jurisdictional rules and principles. But in many respects, the BBNJ Agreement more closely resembles multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) such as the CBD or the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Like MEAs, it is intended to be a dynamic agreement that evolves in response to new information and circumstances. And like MEAs, it establishes a variety of institutions to implement and elaborate its provisions, including a conference of the parties, a scientific and technical body, a clearing-house mechanism, an implementation and compliance committee, and a financial mechanism. This article provides an overview of the development and key provisions of the BBNJ Agreement.

Keywords: Biodiversity, International Law, International environmental law, Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, BBNJ, marine genetic resources

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Bodansky, Daniel, Four Treaties in One: The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement (February 26, 2024). Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4739223, 118 American Journal of International Law xx (2024), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4739223

Daniel Bodansky (Contact Author)

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

111 E Taylor St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
328
Abstract Views
786
Rank
173,657
PlumX Metrics