Long-legged spider crab from Cuba, photo by Marcelo Halpern
The third session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) met in an informal working group on area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs). Delegates also met in three “informal-informals” to continue discussing aspects related to environmental impact assessments (EIAs), marine genetic resources (MGRs), including questions on the sharing of benefits, and cross-cutting issues.
In their discussions, delegates broached what some have characterized as “sticky” issues. Highlights of the day included:
Informal-informals on EIAs, which focused on cumulative and transboundary impacts;
Informal-informals on MGRs, especially addressing intellectual property rights within the new High Seas agreement;
Informal-informals on cross-cutting issues, specifically related to financial resources; and
Discussions in the informal working group on ABMTs, including MPAs, related to the proponent and content of ABMT proposals.
In the corridors, some were concerned that “we have forgotten why we are here,” noting the need for the new High Seas agreement to conserve marine biodiversity and, in many cases, give it a chance to regenerate. “Look up from the text,” urged one delegate, emphasizing that the existing governance regime is “fragmented and not fit for purpose,” and rallying delegates to adopt a strong High Seas treaty to address the current gaps.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from BBNJ IGC-3. The summary and analysis report is now available in HTML and PDF.
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