High Seas Alliance Debates with States at UN BBNJ Meeting on Day 3

Date: 4th April 2014

On the third day of the UN BBNJ meeting the High Seas Alliance continued to participate in discussions with States as they debated points of support and concern around feasibility of a high seas biodiversity implementing agreement.

You can read the full intervention statements from the members below.

Greenpeace intervention on issue of feasibility presented by Sofia Tsenikli, Senior Oceans Policy Advisor 

Thank you co-chairs.

I speak on behalf of Greenpeace, WWF, PEW, NRDC, Mission Blue, the high seas alliance and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and the millions of our members.

An implementing agreement under UNCLOS is essential to adequately protect the diversity of life in the oceans through a coordinated, integrated and collaborative approach for the benefit of mankind as a whole.

The 5th IPCC assessment report that was released on Monday this week brought into stark reality how climate change are causing significant changes in water temperatures, and are altering the chemistry of our ocean, with potentially grave consequences for dependent communities all around the world. The fragmented sector by sector approach is clearly not working, it is emptying and damaging our ocean and it is threatening the future wellbeing of the planet and current and future generations.

Discussions over the years within the BBNJ Working Group point to the fact that a new agreement is urgently needed and legally feasible.

Technically, two implementing agreements have been successfully negotiated and adopted under UNCLOS.

Politically, there are a number of existing legal obligations and agreed political commitments on conservation and sustainable use of the ocean which are not fully implemented or operationalized in the absence of a new UNCLOS implementing agreement.

The scientific, economic and social case for a new agreement is clear. It is the responsibility of States to ensure that healthy oceans for current and future generations take priority over the short-term economic interests. It is a matter of political will to ensure a healthy habitable planet for all.

We welcome the statements by the overwhelming majority of States including the group of 77/China, the European Union, Jamaica, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador and the Dominican republic and look forward to collective action towards a historic decision by the UN General Assembly to launch negotiations of a strong and effective high seas biodiversity agreement under UNCLOS.

IUCN intervention presented by Kristina GjerdeSenior High Seas Advisor

Thank you co-chairs.

As States have been adding points to the co-chairs’ summary document of issues raised at this week’s BBNJ meeting; it might be useful to add an additional bullet reflecting the views of many delegations regarding “the need to ensure long term conservation on behalf of present and future generations”?

Thus would suggest adding the following text “the need to ensure long term conservation on behalf of present and future generations”?

Why: The international community also has an interest in how areas beyond national jurisdiction are managed based on the universal responsibility to protect and preserve the marine environment under UNCLOS.

Cover photo by César Couto on Unsplash

Posted on Categories HSA in the News UN Negotiations