Highlights and images for 21 August 2019


Highlights for Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Spotted sea slug from the Bahamas. Photo by Marcelo Halpern

The third session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) convened in New York on Wednesday, with delegates meeting in an open informal working group on area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs). They also met in two closed-door “informal-informals,” to discuss certain aspects of environmental impact assessments (EIAs), and marine genetic resources (MGRs).

During the informal working group on ABMTs, delegates discussed the identification of areas, including those that may require protection. Highlights of the day include:

  • Informal-informals on EIAs, considering the relationship between the future High Seas agreement and EIA processes under other instruments, and the role of states in decision-making related to EIA activities;
  • Informal-informals on access to MGRs of areas beyond national jurisdiction, including discussions on potentially setting parameters for access to these resources; and
  • Discussions in plenary on the identification of areas requiring protection, including a list of criteria for the establishment or designation of ABMTs, and the basis on which ABMTs are identified, with references to best available science, an ecosystem approach, and traditional knowledge.
  • In the morning, Facilitator Alice Revell (New Zealand) summarized Tuesday’s informal-informal discussion on international cooperation and coordination, and decision making. She highlighted that delegates had discussed ideas related to definitions of ABMTs, including MPAs, reflecting the general understanding that ABMTs are a broader concept that includes MPAs. She highlighted divergent views on the definition of MPAs, including whether to refer to them as tools to achieve long-term biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

    In the corridors, strong calls were made to keep an eye on the purpose of the global treaty, with one delegate “highlighting, underlining, and underscoring the need for swift progress,” adding that “millions of species are at risk and that should spur us to better use the time we have here.” For more details on the day’s negotiations and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

    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.

    Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

    For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page.

    Informal Working Group
    Alice Revell, New Zealand, Facilitator of the informal working group on ABMTs, including MPAs
    IGC President Rena Lee, Singapore
    L-R: Miguel de Serpa Soares, Secretary-General of the IGC, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel; Alice Revell, New Zealand, Facilitator of the informal working group on ABMTs; Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, UN Division of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS); Valentina Germani, UNDOALOS; Stephanie Ierino, UNDOALOS; and Marco Boccia, UNDOALOS
    Huang Hao, China
    Mehdi Remaoun, Algeria, on behalf of the African Group
    Coumba Gaye, Senegal
    Desirée Eve Maaño, the Philippines
    Florian Botto, Monaco
    Sibylle Vermont, Switzerland
    Essam Yassin Mohammed, Eritrea
    Janine Coye-Felson, Belize
    Memet Yakut, Turkey
    Evan Bloom, US
    L-R: Andréanne Goyette and Alain Tellier, Canada, in consultation
    Teburoro Tito, Kiribati
    Kjell Kristian Egge, Norway
    Jessica Battle, WWF
    Alex Macdonald, New Zealand
    Joseph Appiott, Convention on Biological Diversity
    Ramon van Barneveld, EU
    Tetsuya Yoshimoto, Japan
    Sergey Leonidchenko, Russian Federation
    Martin Zvachula, Federated States of Micronesia
    Lionel Yee, Singapore
    IGC-3 participants from UN agencies, intergovernmental, and non governmental organizations
    Photo exhibit promoting Turkish Seas
    Side Event: The Case of Anthropogenic Underwater Noise presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN / General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (FAO/GFCM) and OceanCare
    Side event participants
    L-R: Nicola Ferri, FAO/GFCM; Kristina Gjerde, IUCN; Fabienne McLellan, OceanCare; and Nicolas Entrup, OceanCare