The STRONG High Seas project has published a new report providing initial indications on how the international community can take pragmatic steps to provide a basis for the effective use of area-based management tools (ABMTs) and marine protected areas (MPAs) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).
Marine biodiversity in the deep and distant waters of ABNJ provide critical ecosystem services that are increasingly threatened by the growing exploitation of marine resources, as well as climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution. To address these challenges, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) initiated negotiations for the development of an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ in 2017. This instrument will provide the legal basis by which to designate ABMTs, including MPAs, in ABNJ.
This report consolidates the progress made in the negotiations to date, and also provides indications on how the international community can build on existing governance frameworks for improved conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ, through ABMTs and MPAs