On Wednesday 16 April 2019, the STRONG project partner institute IDDRI organised the second STRONG High Seas expert workshop on monitoring, control and surveillance on “Strengthening Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) through an international instrument on high seas biodiversity” in Paris. This workshop built on the MCS workshop on technological tools held in July 2018 (summary available here).
This workshop provided an opportunity to take stock of existing legal and policy frameworks, highlight ongoing initiatives and technological developments, and develop options for the future treaty. The workshop covered four different themes: improving transparency at sea, lessons learnt from national experiences, lessons learnt from regional experiences and future policy options.
During the workshop, all sixteen participants engaged in active discussions on possible approaches to strengthen MCS through a new international instrument on high seas biodiversity, currently under negotiation at the United Nations. All participants agreed that an enhancement of transparency could lead to a better MCS framework and that more cooperation and coordination amongst MCS experts is necessary. The discussions demonstrated that MCS can be strengthened via a political, technological and market perspective.
The key conclusions of both MCS expert workshops will be used in a report that will discuss the ways MCS might be able to play a role in the ongoing discussions on the new treaty. This report is due to be published in July 2019 so that it can feed into the next round of UN negotiations that will take place at the end of August this year.