The online seminar entitled ‘Sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in ABNJ in the South-East Pacific’ took place in the framework of the joint activities of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS) and the STRONG High Seas project and was held on 26-27 January 2021. It aimed at providing a platform for discussion among experts from the Southeast Pacific region on possible measures to conserve and sustainably manage biodiversity in the marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) of this region. This seminar specifically discussed: a) possible area-based management tools for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ in the Southeast Pacific and b) challenges and opportunities for the implementation of such measures (including management, legal and policy instruments).
About 80 expert representatives from the CPPS member States Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Peru as well as international experts attended this seminar. The discussions were preceded each day by presentations by experts. On the first day, Jessica Battle (WWF International) gave an overview of the existing conservation measures in ABNJ. Dr. Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (University of British Columbia) spoke of the need to consider indigenous communities in discussing marine protection efforts as they have an ancestral relationship with the sea and possess an understanding of species’ migration, including in ABNJ. On the second day, Gustavo Arévalo (CPPS) gave an overview of the current status of the BBNJ negotiations. Dr. Daniel Wagner (Conservation International) highlighted the ecological importance of the Salas and Gomez & Nazca Ridge and the need to preserve this unique area in the Southeast Pacific. Finally, Ricardo Meneses Orellana (Tropical Eastern Pacific Marine Corridor – CMAR) presented the history of CMAR and its current actions in the region.
The second online seminar on this topic will take place in early March 2021.