Fishes in the ocean

Blue Leaders High-Level Event on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

7 March 2024 | Brussels, Belgium


Discussions focused on kickstarting the implementation of the new BBNJ treaty, especially by identifying marine protected areas. Many also underscored ocean-climate linkages and highlighted the importance of global cooperation on ocean science.

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Following several years of negotiations, the treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Treaty) was adopted in June 2023. It needs to be ratified by sixty countries to enter into force. Thus far, the Treaty has been ratified by only two countries: Palau and Chile. To further raise the profile of this Treaty and to advance progress on its entry into force and implementation, this event aims to foster countries’ swift ratification of the BBNJ Treaty.

The day-long event featured panel discussions with representatives from governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the scientific community, and youth. Discussions addressed, among other issues:

  • high-level commitment for the BBNJ Treaty;
  • interlinkages between climate change and the target to protect 30% of terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine areas by 2030, which is part of the Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in 2022; and
  • the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

The Blue Leaders are a group of countries advocating for urgent action to save the Ocean in the face of the climate crisis, overfishing, pollution, and other threats. This event was convened as part of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) writer for this meeting was Jennifer Bansard. The Digital Editor was Anastasia Rodopoulou. The Editor was Leila Mead.

Funding for ENB coverage of this meeting was provided by the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Belgium.

Federal Public Service Health, Safety of the Food Chain and Environment, Belgium

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Negotiating blocs
European Union