Over the past two months, High Seas Alliance members have been actively engaged in a number of regional workshops to discuss a new implementing agreement (IA) under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ). Over the course of these two-day workshops, governments heard presentations from regional and international experts and discussed the need for this implementing agreement, the UN General Assembly Working Group process concerning this issue, and components of the “package” including area-based management tools including marine protected areas, marine genetic resources including access and a benefit sharing regime, environmental impacts assessments, and capacity- building and the transfer of marine technology. Most recently, these workshops have taken place in:
- Brasilia, Brazil for the Latin American countries (co-organized by the Brazilian Government and Pew Charitable Trusts)
- Maputo, Mozambique for the African Group, (co-organized by the Government of Mozambique and Pew Charitable Trusts)
- Manila, Philippines for ASEAN countries (co-organized by PICAF, Philippine Government, Greenpeace and Pew Charitable Trusts)
Similar workshops have also been held in Kingston, Jamaica for CARICOM, and in Tarrytown, New York for the African group. Forthcoming will be a workshop for Pacific States, to also be held in Tarrytown.