The STRONG High Seas project has published new findings providing recommendations for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction in the Southeast Atlantic and Southeast Pacific regions.
These two complementary reports provide a number of key recommendations for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) of the Southeast Atlantic region and Southeast Pacific regions, respectively. This includes considerations for proposing new or expanding existing measures to support conservation efforts as well as utilizing other resources, which support the development of or underpin conservation efforts for . The reports focus on the Southeast Atlantic and Southeast Pacific regions, both characterised by high biological productivity, supported by important oceanic currents.
Measures to support conservation efforts must put the protection of biodiversity and ecological integrity as the primary objective and consider cumulative pressures on the marine environment. This also means including ecological connectivity (e.g., migratory routes of marine species, transboundary impacts of human activities), and climate change impacts in their design and implementation. Moreover, the complexity and dynamic nature of the ocean, including in ABNJ, requires that conservation efforts acknowledge uncertainty, include options to address it or adapt swiftly to new scientific information, and consider the three-dimensional space of the ocean. This also requires that the best available interdisciplinary scientific and indigenous knowledge provide the basis for the design and implementation of such measures.
It will be essential that measures to support conservation efforts apply mechanisms for cross-sectoral consultation, cooperation, and collaboration, as well as consider appropriate spatial and temporal scales for implementation. They must reflect broad societal goals and consider uneven distribution of socio-economic outcomes resulting from exploitative activities in ABNJ. Governance and management actions must recognise coupled and diverse social-ecological systems, and the interconnection between ocean health and human wellbeing, including diverse stakeholder considerations in the design and implementation of the measure or approach. It is essential that the design and implementation of measures to support conservation efforts include appropriate means to ensure the regular monitoring, control, and surveillance of human activities as well as the compliance and enforcement of the laws and regulations in place.