A healthy ocean is essential to sustaining life on Earth. However, scientific assessments reveal that the loss of marine biodiversity is increasingly harming the ocean’s ability to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from adverse impacts. Degraded ecosystems, such as those that have lost biodiversity, are less resilient to increased pressure, in particular those resulting from climate change.
Moreover, two-thirds of the world’s oceans are located beyond areas of national jurisdiction. To address the issue of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, States agreed to take a decision on the development of a new international instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group will take place from 1 to 4 April 2014. In advance of that meeting, Member States have been invited to submit by 28 February 2014 their views on the scope, parameters and feasibility of such an international instrument under UNCLOS. For more information, please see The High Seas Alliance policy recommendations on the scope, parameters and feasibility of a proposed implementing agreement to UNCLOS on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.