BBNJ Discussions in the South American Region

Date: 27th August 2018

In recognition that well-informed participation in the upcoming BBNJ intergovernmental conference (IGC) will be critical for the advancement of the negotiations, States and regional groups have been dedicating time and resources in preparing their national positions and participating in various forums to share expertise and address common interests.

Recently, on August 8-9, Foreign Affairs Chile, the Pew Charitable Trusts and MarViva Foundation organized the workshop “Towards the Negotiation of a New Instrument for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.

Government officials of Foreign Affairs and the Environmental Ministries from various South American countries, namely: Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, met in Santiago (Chile) to share views and enhance regional discussions before the first session of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), which will take place from the 4-17 September 2018 at the United Nations.

During the two-day workshop, speakers from the High Seas Alliance (HSA) and ally organizations addressed different elements of the BBNJ package. In the first day, Cristóbal Hernández (Foreign Affairs Chile) set up the context of the workshop presenting on the road travelled during the BBNJ process; Nichola Clark (Pew Charitable Trusts) presented on area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs) as well as institutional arrangements; Robin Warner (University of Wollongong, Australia) addressed environmental impact assessments (EIAs); Torsten Thiele (Global Ocean Trust) spoke on financial mechanisms; and, at the closing session, Ariel Troisi (Vice-president of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) addressed the details of capacity building and technology transfer. On the second day of the workshop, Hiroko Gottlieb (IUCN) informed the audience on marine genetic resources (MGRs) and benefit sharing and Catalina Olivos (National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile) covered issues related to intellectual property rights.

The experts also drew attention to relevant elements from the President’s Aid to Discussions paper, circulated in advance of the first IGC meeting by Conference President Ambassador Rena Lee, and focused workshop discussions on specific issues to be discussed at the upcoming meeting.

Cover photo by High Seas Alliance

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