The high seas — also called international waters — comprise 64% of the world’s oceans and 45% of the earth’s surface. They are shared by the world but governed by no one country. That means that the incredible biodiversity of the high seas, from seaweeds to fish to sharks, is not currently protected.
POLICY BRIEF: Deep, distant and dynamic: critical considerations for incorporating the open-ocean into a new BBNJ treaty
To ensure a robust new International Legally Binding Instrument (ILBI) for the high seas, adequate attention will need to be placed on how the governance structures can address both fragile, static deep-sea ecosystems and immense, highly dynamic open-ocean ecosystems. In this policy brief we provide examples of open-ocean ecosystems, their importance to coastal States, and considerations of how to ensure the robust conservation and sustainable use of dynamic pelagic systems and biological diversity under a new ILBI.
Nereus Fellow Daniel Dunn will be attending the Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee on marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) July 10-21 in New York. The purpose of…
The Nereus Program hosted a side event at the 3rd Preparatory Committee Meeting on Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), March 27 to April 7 at the UN Headquarters, in New York. The side event entitled “Adjacency: How legal precedent, ecological connectivity, and traditional knowledge inform our understanding of proximity” was held on April 4.
POLICY BRIEF: Adjacency: How legal precedent, ecological connectivity, and Traditional Knowledge inform our understanding of proximity
Pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), all States have customary and treaty obligations to protect and preserve the marine environment and its resources. Several countries have expressed an interest in the question of whether States could properly assert priority over the conservation of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) adjacent to their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). The term “adjacency”, with respect to maritime coastal boundaries, refers to a State’s spatial proximity with the open ocean and deep sea in ABNJ.
Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction
The Second Session of the Preparatory Committee related to Marine Biological Diversity Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction took place from August 26th to September 9th at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, United States. Nereus Senior Research Fellow at Duke Daniel Dunn and Nereus Principal Investigator at Duke Patrick Halpin attended the session and presented at a series of side events.
The Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on ABNJ series was developed out of a workshop held prior to this year’s 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). They were prepared for the second meeting of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee meeting, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN. The PrepComm is developing an international legally binding instrument under the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. These policy briefs are meant to inform this process and different aspects of high seas conservation and use.
POLICY BRIEF: Space for conservation and sustainable use: area-based management in areas beyond national jurisdiction
Marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction contain ecosystems with marine resources and biodiversity of significant ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural importance. These areas and their resources are subject to increasing impacts from ongoing human activities and global climate change and their associated cumulative and combined effects.
Despite their remoteness, the high seas and deep ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) are at the forefront of CO2-induced climate stress, both in their mitigation capacity, and their vulnerabilities. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission alters ocean conditions, leading to ocean warming, deoxygenation and acidification. These ocean changes affect marine life throughout the ABNJ, from the surface to the deep sea, by changing species’ distributions, migration routes, ecosystem structure and functions.