Photo: N. Wijkmark/Azote
On December 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly made a little heralded but significant stride towards better management and protection of marine biodiversity in the two-thirds of our ocean that lie beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. On the day before Christmas, the UNGA adopted a resolution to launch formal negotiations for an “international legally-binding instrument” on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
This decision comes after 10+ years of discussions at the United Nations of the multiplying threats to ocean health, potential avenues for improving existing management efforts, and options for establishing marine protected areas and other area-based management tools.
This presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges for the upcoming UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Conference, with a particular focus on the important role that both science and scientists can play in the unfolding negotiations.
Kristina Gjerde is Senior High Seas Advisor to IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme, adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas High Seas Specialist Group and co-lead of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), a multidisciplinary scientific partnership.
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