Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction – BBNJ

The high seas—61% of the ocean that lies in areas beyond national jurisdiction—are the quintessential global commons. Marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) has attracted international attention as scientists reveal the richness and vulnerability of such biodiversity, particularly around seamounts, hydrothermal vents, sponges, and cold-water corals. Concerns have grown about the increasing anthropogenic pressures posed by existing and emerging activities, such as fishing, mining, marine pollution, and bioprospecting.

The high seas are governed by an incomplete patchwork of international organizations and treaties. Even the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) offers minimal guidance on environmental conservation. Following more than a decade of discussions convened under the United Nations General Assembly, the Assembly, in its resolution 72/249 in 2017, convened an intergovernmental conference to elaborate a new treaty under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ.

Events

Showing 1 - 10 of 15 results

5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

Despite more progress at this two-week session than over the last decade, delegates were unable to reach consensus on a new high seas treaty addressing marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction and, instead, suspended the session, to be resumed in early 2023.
Event 15 August 2022 - 26 August 2022

4th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

At the most productive meeting so far, “unprecedented progress” was made in discussions on marine genetic resources, including benefit sharing, area-based management tools, including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, and capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.
Event 7 March 2022 - 18 March 2022

Intersessional Work of the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference

Following more than a decade of discussions convened under the United Nations General Assembly, the Assembly, in resolution 72/249 of 24 December 2017, decided to convene an IGC on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction with a view to developing a legally binding instrument as soon as possible.
Event 14 September 2020

3rd Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Delegates delved, for the first time, into textual negotiations on the basis of a “zero draft” containing treaty text developed by Conference President Rena Lee (Singapore). Deliberations were productive but there is still much work to be done with the fourth and final mandated session scheduled for March 2020.
Event 19 August 2019 - 30 August 2019