From 30 January to 1 February 2019, the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC), organised a regional workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). Held at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Fiji, the three-day workshop brought together delegates from across the region to discuss key issues for the ongoing negotiations in New York.
The STRONG High Seas project was represented by Glen Wright (IDDRI), who updated participants on the project’s work, provided reflections on the potential role for regional organisations in a future agreement, and, together with Nichola Clark (Pew), guided participants in breakout group discussions.
The groups discussed a range of issues, with participants noting: the need to safeguard the Pacific’s regional characteristics and needs in the future instrument; the importance of recognizing and utilizing regional expertise; and the need for a strong global framework to ensure effective implementation, provide oversight, and facilitate coordination and coherence.
In closing, the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner noted the ambition of the Pacific and expressed its intention to continue coordinating with Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP) and other partners of the Pacific Ocean Alliance (POA) to support the work of Pacific negotiators.