30/06/2020 - 02/07/2020 - 9:00 - 6:00
The Abidjan Convention Secretariat and the STRONG High Seas (‘Strengthening Regional Ocean Governance for the High Seas’) project coordinated by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and implemented together with six partners based in Europe, South America, and Africa are hosting the STRONG High Seas Project Workshop entitled ‘Enhancing the Knowledge Base for Cross-Sectoral Management and Ocean Governance in ABNJ of the Southeast Atlantic’, which will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on 30 June – 02 July 2020.
This workshop is part of a series of workshops organised under the STRONG High Seas project in the Southeast Atlantic region with the aim to bring together stakeholders to discuss current challenges as well as opportunities for global and regional ocean governance, foster exchange of knowledge and information, and build new networks. It will apply an interactive approach to enable information exchange between participants and explore various topics relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) cover about half of the planet’s surface, have high biodiversity and deliver important ecosystem services. While there is a growing economic and political interest in exploitation of marine resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction, there is no comprehensive legal regime for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in these areas to date. In this regard, the international community agreed in 2015 to develop a global, legally binding agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). Pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 72/249 of December 2017, the negotiations of this instrument started in April 2018.
This workshop will be interactive and will discuss different topics relevant to ABNJ, present the outputs and outcomes of the STRONG High Seas project and discuss future work, particularly:
- Provide a setting for States and stakeholders to exchange in regard to lessons learnt and best practices as well as challenges and potential points for increased collaboration in ocean governance, particularly with regard to the conservation of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction;
- Discuss the current state of the negotiations on an international agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) as well as the underlying work done by the STRONG High Seas project on underpinning a strong global BBNJ agreement through regional and sectoral governance, particularly in view of implementing an ecosystem-based management approach to global ocean governance;
- Present, discuss and review the scientific work done under the STRONG High Seas project, particularly on the status of marine biodiversity and anthropogenic pressures in ABNJ of the Southeast Atlantic and Southeast Pacific (ecological baselines) and the monitoring, control and surveillance of human activities;
- Present and discuss the upcoming scientific work under the STRONG High Seas project on understanding, from a regional perspective, the current or potential contributions of marine areas, and in particular ABNJ, to human well-being such as economic benefits, jobs and livelihoods and ecosystem services;
- Identify opportunities for stakeholders to engage with regional and global processes as well as support capacity building in the Southeast Atlantic region in the form of new information and knowledge exchange;
- Preview a first version of a platform to support regional dialogue and engagement in the Southeast Atlantic region;
- Take stock of the STRONG High Seas project, including its progress to date and discuss opportunities for ensuring its value and relevance to the Abidjan member States for the future.